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 Post subject: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:05 pm 
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A lot of people really hate when debaters start cx with, "How are you doing today?" It's always awkward to start cross-examining someone, especially without that icebreaker. Are there any better options?

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:07 pm 
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I (usually) start with "I hope you're doing well today" and move right into my questions. I've found that that method satisfies the judges who expect some sort of niceties, while not alienating the judges who think you shouldn't "waste your time" in that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:11 pm 
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I usually backhand my opponent to the face, then tell them I hope they feel better soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:14 pm 
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I tend to start with "Hello [person], I just have a few questions for you." It feels too rude to start without saying anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:57 am 
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I probably should put more thought into it, usually by asking whether everyone is ready and saying something like "my first question" or "so . . ." It's weak on my part probably, but it doesn't get super contentious. It can be really awkward if a speaker jumps into CX without acknowledging others.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:50 am 
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The Ginga Ninja wrote:
I usually backhand my opponent to the face, then tell them I hope they feel better soon.

See my tactic is backhand my opponent and then in then in my last speech accuse them of not being Christian because they didn't turn the other cheek. Judges love when you tie C/X into future speeches.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:51 am 
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But seriously, if you are a guy C/Xing a girl ask how they are doing and if you are a Guy/Guy, Girl/Guy, or Girl/Girl just say something like "I just have a couple of questions for you, starting right off with..."

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:04 am 
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NerdRipper7 wrote:
But seriously, if you are a guy C/Xing a girl ask how they are doing and if you are a Guy/Guy, Girl/Guy, or Girl/Girl just say something like "I just have a couple of questions for you, starting right off with..."

Why should you ask a girl how she's doing? Is it because girls can often win over judges by seeming nice?

btw, I'm a girl. And I'm also very aggressive in debate, so I lose to other girls most of the time. :evil:

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2014-2015 Lincoln-Douglas
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“When in doubt, go to the library.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:08 am 
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LD Chick wrote:
NerdRipper7 wrote:
But seriously, if you are a guy C/Xing a girl ask how they are doing and if you are a Guy/Guy, Girl/Guy, or Girl/Girl just say something like "I just have a couple of questions for you, starting right off with..."

Why should you ask a girl how she's doing? Is it because girls can often win over judges by seeming nice?

btw, I'm a girl. And I'm also very aggressive in debate, so I lose to other girls most of the time. :evil:

You should always ask a girl when you are a guy bc if you don't you risk offending quite a lot of your judging pool. Also it is a simple courtesy that is unnecessary every so often but should be used in the majority of cases.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:05 am 
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marinadelayne wrote:
I (usually) start with "I hope you're doing well today" and move right into my questions. I've found that that method satisfies the judges who expect some sort of niceties, while not alienating the judges who think you shouldn't "waste your time" in that way.


Same. Personally, I think that asking "How are you doing?" is unnecessary; it not only takes more time than is needed but also seems like a purely insensitive formality as the questioner rarely is concerned about the actual answer. ;) This isn't to say that formalities don't have their place, of course; merely that "How are you doing?" is a personal question that, it seems to me, is somewhat out-of-place in a debate round. Simply stating "I hope you are doing well today; just a few questions for you" works well as an opener in preliminary rounds; I have never encountered a judge who had a problem with it. In outrounds, I will usually start by congratulating my opponent; though somewhat overdone at times I find it to be a respectful formality that is expected by most experienced judges in our region. Regardless, I think the main thing is to find an opener that is natural for you and yet exudes professionalism and respect to the competitor that you are cross-examining.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:05 pm 
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ConnorDaniels wrote:
In outrounds, I will usually start by congratulating my opponent; though somewhat overdone at times I find it to be a respectful formality that is expected by most experienced judges in our region.

A large part of C-X openers is that you don't want the other speaker to respond. If they respond then it's a waste of your C-X time and rarely comes across as being polite or necessary. Saying congratulations often elicits a response from the other speaker and consumes a good 10-15 seconds of C-X time. You're also right that it is overdone, as such it conveys very few genuine feelings but is rather viewed as a pointless formality that you would only employ with the express purpose of trying to win points with the judge.

Personally, I would say that a simple 'Good morning/afternoon/evening sir/ma'am' is a prompt and polite segue into your questions that doesn't waste time but still carries weight of a requisite respect for the other team.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
ConnorDaniels wrote:
In outrounds, I will usually start by congratulating my opponent; though somewhat overdone at times I find it to be a respectful formality that is expected by most experienced judges in our region.

A large part of C-X openers is that you don't want the other speaker to respond. If they respond then it's a waste of your C-X time and rarely comes across as being polite or necessary. Saying congratulations often elicits a response from the other speaker and consumes a good 10-15 seconds of C-X time. You're also right that it is overdone, as such it conveys very few genuine feelings but is rather viewed as a pointless formality that you would only employ with the express purpose of trying to win points with the judge.

Personally, I would say that a simple 'Good morning/afternoon/evening sir/ma'am' is a prompt and polite segue into your questions that doesn't waste time but still carries weight of a requisite respect for the other team.


Generally speaking, I would agree with the above; a respectful "Good morning" should be sufficient in most cases, and, were I a judge, it would not bother me at all. My personal practice of congratulating opponents in outrounds is actually based on a conversation I had with a parent from our club who felt that it was a respectful tradition that should be continued. So, while I agree with your assessment that it is unnecessary, I also know that some judges do expect it, at least for the CX of the 1AC.

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2014-2015|Cash/Daniels
2015-2016|Cash/Daniels
2016-2017|Daniels/Green
COG Author

"Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement." ~ Winston Churchill


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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:10 pm 
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I think when you ask the cross examinee how they are doing it's not for their benefit but almost more for your benefit. When the judge sees that you are being courteous he will probably like you more. Sometimes, though, asking this question just seems stupid and sometimes it wastes time. For example, you come up and say "How are you today?" The person answers, "Fine, how are you?" Then you say, "I'm doing well!" By that time you've already used half of a minute, maybe more, of precious time.

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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:31 am 
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So... is there a less awkward way to begin cross-x?


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 Post subject: Re: Cross-Ex Openers
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:45 pm 
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YES.

"Good afternoon. Wouldn't you agree with me that..."

You do not have to justify having a CX, asking someone questions, cheesily complement their last speech, ask how they're doing, or any of that nonsense.

Good afternoon, good morning, good evening.

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