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NWC News Desk

Listen to debates, humor, poetry and more as college forensics judge

Posted October 27, 2014
By NWC News Desk

POWELL, Wyo. ─ The Northwest College Forensics Department is asking for more community volunteers than usual to judge a new audience-based public event at the upcoming Trapper Speech Rendezvous Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 6-8.

Judges can commit to hours convenient for them and are not required to judge all day. They can choose from a variety of events that include after dinner speakers, poetry interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, persuasive speaking, duet interpretation and parliamentary debate.

To help people feel more comfortable with judging, the NWC Forensics Department will hold 45-minute judging workshops on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 5:15 p.m. and again Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in Room 208 of the Yellowstone Building.

Bob Becker, assistant professor of communication and one of the NWC forensics coaches, said some people are hesitant to judge because they don't think they’re qualified, but find it quite simple and enjoyable when they do it. The primary component of judging individual events is simply to rank performances from best to worst.

This year, in addition to Lincoln-Douglas debate, students compete in Public Debate (IPDA) on Thursday afternoon and evening. Becker said they expect a large number of entries for this event. “Judges this year have a new option, called public debate, that’s expressly for nondebaters,” he said. “This event gives the audience opportunities to hear lively discussion and critical thinking on contemporary issues without the pressure of carefully tracking arguments. It emphasizes public speaking and real-world persuasion skills over the use of evidence and speed.”

Becker said this style of debate will be fun to judge if you’d enjoy hearing students speaking your language as they try to convince you their position is the right one for you. Even if you’re not a ‘debate judge,’ he encourages you to consider judging this event. “It’s meant to be a format that is for the public, he added, “so judges need no special knowledge or training.”

To find out more about judging forensics, email or call Bob Becker at 307-754-6118.