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November Senior Speakers Challenge


Format

The December Senior Speakers Challenge will be in the form of a SPAR Debate (Language: English). SPAR Debate is an excellent way to introduce students to debating. SPAR is short for Spontaneous Argumentation debates. The term connotes, too, some of the jousting and practicing that we think of as “sparring”.

Age

The speaker should have completed 12 years and not turned 16 as on 31st December 2019 (Born between 1st Jan’04 and 31st Dec’07)

Registration

Registration fee is ₹ 500 per speaker for Video-Call round. Early bird ₹ 400 if you register before 11 pm on 1st December. Registration closes at 11 pm on 9th December.

The Stage Finale fee is ₹ 500 per speaker. We will be sharing payment links with the Speakers who are invited to the Finale.

Motions

1. Pursuing career is more important than pursuing passion
2. All scholarships should be granted based on financial need and not merit
 
Rounds
 
Video-call Qualifiers 
 

Date & Time: 11th & 12th December (5 pm - 10 pm). Slots of 15 minutes per debate. Speakers have to choose their preferred 1 hour slot from the given options, while registering.

Format: Each debate will be a 1 on 1 between two speakers (Not a Knockout). One of the speakers will be arguing “For” the motion and the other one would be arguing “Against” the topic. All the speakers will be emailed their exact debate time slot, the motion they would be arguing on (from the given 2 motions) and their side (for or against) by Melio one hour before the start of their slot. The draws of the 2 opposing debaters, their motion and their sides will be randomly done by Melio.

The order of speaking and time-limits for the 2 speakers will be as follows:

Speech # 1: The “For” speaker will argue for the motion. Time-limit: 90 seconds.

Speech # 2: The “Against” speaker will now argue against the motion. They will also be Rebutting the points mentioned by the “For” speaker in the 1st speech. Time limit: 150 seconds.

Speech # 3: The “For” speaker will end the debate with a Rebuttal on the Speech #2 given by the “Against” speaker. Time limit: 60 seconds.

The Qualifiers are not a Knock-out. The Top 16 Speakers (basis their scores) will be moving on to the Final round. Each speaker will be emailed their individual scores along with a detailed feedback video from the judge. 

Top 16 Finale 

Date & Time: 15th December, 5 - 8 pm

Venue: Global Art, Whitefield.

Format: Each debate will be a 1 on 1 knockout. One of them will be arguing “For” the motion and the other one would be arguing “Against” the topic. Each Debate will have a toss 5 minutes before it starts. The winner of the toss will get to choose the Motion and the loser will get to choose the Side of the motion (For or Against). The speakers will get 5 minutes to get ready for the Debate.

The order of speaking and time-limits for the 2 speakers will be as follows:

Speech # 1: The “For” speaker will argue for the motion. Time-limit: 90 seconds.

Speech # 2: The “Against” speaker will now argue against the motion. They will also be Rebutting the points mentioned by the “For” speaker in the 1st speech. Time limit: 180 seconds.

Speech # 3: The “For” speaker will end the debate with a Rebuttal on the Speech #2 given by the “Against” speaker. Time limit: 90 seconds.

All the debates in the Finals will be Knock-outs. All the pairings will be done by a draw which shall be revealed later. The order of the rounds will be Round of 16 followed by Quarter-finals followed by Semi-finals and the grand Final.

Rules

  • Use of index cards is allowed, but only for reference of outline and key points. Reading verbatim is discouraged and will result in a penalty affecting the final score
  • The Judge will signal 10 seconds before the time is up for every speech. Points will be deducted for exceeding the time limit, as per the judge’s discretion.

Judging Criteria

  • 40% - Speech content - Introduction-Body-Conclusion, Argument quality
  • 30% - Effectiveness - Purpose achievement, Language use, Vocabulary
  • 30% - Rebuttal - Identification of arguments, Engagement, Persuasiveness

Each speaker will be scored out of 100 points in all the rounds of the challenge.

Prizes

1st prize: ₹ 3500; 2nd prize: ₹ 2000; Remaining 2 semi-finalists: ₹ 1000. All Top 16 speakers will be receiving certificates. T&C apply.

Challenge FAQs

Q. What should be the structure and focus of Speech # 1?

Ans. The Speaker could use this speech to introduce and discuss the main points of argument that favour their stance on the motion (For). 

Q. What should be the structure and focus of Speech # 2?

Ans. The Speaker could use this speech to introduce and discuss the main points of argument that favour their stance on the motion (Against). They could then proceed to rebut the points made by the For speaker by offering a logical explanation or statistics on the same. They could conclude with a summary. The order of speaking of these points need not be in the same order as mentioned here. In order for the speech to be effective, it is important to weave in one’s own arguments and the rebuttal such that there is a natural coherence to the speech.

Q. What should be the structure and focus of Speech # 3?

Ans. The Speaker could use this speech to rebut the points made by the Against speaker by offering a logical explanation or statistics on the same. They could conclude with a summary which draws upon the points they made in their first speech. No new points of argument can be introduced in this speech.

Q. What is an effective Rebuttal?

Ans. The most effective rebuttal is a presentation of evidence and reasoning meant to weaken or undermine your opponent's claim. It involves correctly identifying the opposing arguments that you can negate effectively and engaging the judge in a persuasive manner with sufficient evidence and logic. Any kind of personal attacks against the opposing speaker will not be tolerated and could lead to immediate disqualification.

Q. How do I prepare for the Challenge?

Ans. Research well into both the motions. This should help you familiarise with arguments both for and against the motions. Choose your top 2-4 arguments and dig deeper into the reasoning around them and statistics to support them. This will help you argue your stance with greater impact within your time limit while also ensuring that you don’t give enough ammunition to your opposing speaker for the rebuttal. Knowing the top arguments both for and against a motion will help you know what can come your way in the rebuttal.

Q. How will the video-call round work?

Ans. Each speaker will get to choose their preferred 1 hour for the debate while registering. Our team will conduct a random draw to choose the motion, side and the 15 minute slot for each debate. These will be communicated to you along with your Zoom invite link via email one hour before the start of your slot. At your allotted slot, you will need to click on the Zoom invite link shared with you to come online. The judge for the debate and a Melio representative will be on this video call along with your opposing speaker. The judge will give cues as to when to start and stop your speech. The opposing speaker will have to listen carefully to the points made by the other speaker while themselves being on Mute mode, which will be facilitated by the Melio representative with a voice and mike check at the beginning. If you find something going wrong, like the voice not coming through clearly or the other speaker doing something wrong, you can wait for that speaker to end before making your point to the judge.

For any other questions, please reach out to us at support@melio.co.in or call us at 7710810218.