I would agree with much of what Drew said. I once heard it said best by one of my debate coaches: “It’s not necessarily what
you say, but how
you say it.” Don’t be intimidated by what the postings or what other people say. Treat every debate round as the final round at Nationals and a way to honor and glorify God. The other teams don’t determine who you are; YOU determine who you are. Be a winsome communicator for Christ and make your arguments clear in whatever circumstance against whichever team you hit. The best teams don’t have the most complicated cases or the snazziest debate briefs. The best teams are winsome communicators and good orators. Not necessarily spectacular, but CLEAR and concise is what wins.
Also, keep in mind a proper perspective about your judges. Oftentimes, community judges were asked by friends at church or a second-cousin twice removed to come to this mysterious thing called a debate tournament. These people are the thinking man and woman from the street: well-rounded, smart, and educated, but having no idea what a “contention,” “inherency,” “solvency,” or a “card” even is. They drive up to the campus not knowing what to expect, who to see, or even most likely what they’re doing. They walk up and are promptly put through a twenty-minute orientation which they somewhat understand. Then, they walk into a room with four dashing young men in awesome suits and ties debating about what to do in the United Nations. (For the sake of the application, assume that it’s two guy teams debating in NCFCA, lol.) After a round where they take scattered notes on the flow of what they liked and what they didn’t really understand, they go into a judging lounge where cookies and coffee are put in front of them, and they have to make a decision about who to win? AHHHHH!
Point being: Many times, if you are lost in a debate round, the judge doesn’t understand the other team, either. You aren’t trying to convince the other team; you are asked to convince the judge
of your position. Be clear, coolheaded, concise, and most importantly winsome and you should be good to go. Have the knowledge in your head and the compassion in your heart. Don't let the enemy take you down or beat you up.