Public Speaking Workshop #76: National Debate Public Forum

Speak to Lead LLC invited Ms. Elisa Chen, founder of Potomac Debate Academy to present to our students, parents, and general public about the “Competitive Public Forum Debate” on March 8, 2017.

The workshop can be viewed at

  • Public Forum Debate is a 2 vs. 2 debate that focuses on issues of domestic and international importance. A most recent topic was “The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote.”
  • Public speaking is an important skill in debate; but to research in detail and master the body of knowledge is even more important.
  • Judging criteria include the public speaking, research quality and debate team work.
    • In an example of “The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba,” an insufficient argument would be: “I think the embargo against Cuba is hurting our economy.”
    • A more persuasive point is: “Lifting the embargo would benefit both the United States and Cuba. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calculates that the embargo costs the US $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports. Moreover, the Cuban Policy Foundation estimates it costs the U.S. economy $3.6 billion per year in economic output.”
    • Judges decide which team wins and which team loses based on evidence and therefore, “a low-speaking win” usually happens if the winning team had stronger evidence but were weaker speakers.
    • Each speaker in the round also get a rank of 1, 2, 3, or 4 and speaker points out of 30
  • Successful debater has three key characters:
    • Passion: enjoy debate and willing to put in effort
    • Work ethics: no shortcut. Research takes time and critical thinking
    • Intrinsic value: find a way to seek rapport and present strong evidence

Speak to Lead LLC strives to develop public speaking and communication skills to our next generation of leaders.

Speak today, Lead tomorrow.


2016年3月8日(星期三) 晚 10-11点 EST

3月8日, Coach Laura and Mike, DTM 邀请 Ms. Elisa Chen, 著名的 Debate Coach 来给我们讲解 National Debate Public Forum。Elisa Chen 的讲座将分为三个部分, 分别是:General Process of National Debate Public Forum ,Judge criteria 和 How to develop young people in debate skills.

Instructor Background:

Elisa Chen 是 Potomac Debate Academy 的经营者。高中和大学期间,她就积投身于辩论。高中时,她参加了林肯道格拉斯(LD),政策(CX)和公共论坛(PF)比赛。大学期间,她是纽约大学议会辩论队的成员并是美国议会辩论协会(APDA)联盟的积极参与者。 2010年,她荣幸地代表纽约大学和美国在土耳其安塔利亚参加世界辩论锦标赛。目前Elisa Chen 虽然经常在国内和国际上参加大学辩论赛,但她同时也很高兴指导她的学生走向成功。 Elisa女士也是一名律师,专门处理影响高等教育的问题。


Potomac Debate Academy is ran by Ms. Elisa Chen, who debated throughout high school and college. In high school, she participated in Lincoln Douglas (LD), Policy (CX), and Public Forum (PF) competitions. In college, she was a member of the New York University Parliamentary Debate Team and active participant of the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) league. In 2010, she had the honor of representing both New York University and the United States in the World Debate Championships, in Antalya, Turkey. While she used to travel nationally and internationally to compete in collegiate debate tournaments, she now happily travels alongside her students coaching them to success. Ms. Elisa is also an attorney, specializing in issues affecting higher education.

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