Thanks everyone for the advice!! You guys have some really good tips, I appreciate it a lot
Are any patterns showing up on the elim ballots? Any comments appearing repeatedly?
I just read through the elimination ballots I could find, and I've been told a few times that I should slow down. Also I get a lot of comments telling me to smile more, haha. I've been neg without a brief in two of my outrounds, so the reason for losing those rounds is pretty clear. I do think that judges expect you to be more prepared against a case when you are in outrounds than they do in prelims.
The only other thing I can think of is that you might be getting too psyched up. I've had a few competitors over the years to whom I've had to give anti-pep talks: "This is just another debate. Be smart, be focused, and do the exact same things that brought you here. Don't get revved up, or you'll take unnecessary risks or get unnecessarily bombastic." It's not about nervousness; it's about thinking muscle is better than precision, just because it's an outround. Debate is debate is debate, and precision continues to be better than muscle.
This makes sense but for me, I think I might actually need to raise my energy level in outrounds. I tend to be really tired at that point in a tournament and that could be another reason I'm losing. At this last tournament when I lost in octas (to my former partner, haha), I think that the other team came across as more enthusiastic and passionate about their case, so they were more likable. Here in R4 it does seem like judges prefer the energetic speakers, based on the teams that win tournaments. I don't know, is this true in general? If so I'll need to make some adjustments to my speaking style.
It seems difficult to become more passionate while slowing down my pace, though.
Also, I often have the bad luck to debate my friends in outrounds (I've debated members of my club in three times now), so while I DO want to win, maybe I'm not being
@ParadigmPWNS: you have some really good advice. I like the idea of treating every round like finals at nationals! I do feel like I need to make some
change to my debate style in outrounds, though, since I have been losing so consistently with my current style. But I definitely agree with your points about the judges and time management.