If you haven’t already read preparing for the 2NR, please read that first. I will be skipping several repeated concepts.
The last affirmative speech is the most important speech in the round, arguably. It’s the last thing the judge hears.
With this power, of course, comes the responsibility to avoid saying things that are untrue.
Let’s talk about how you should prepare for this speech in-round.
Choose the arguments to highlight
While in some vary rare circumstances you can drop arguments as the affirmative team, I’m going to assume you won’t. (If you don’t know why you would drop one, then you probably shouldn’t be doing that anyway).
A 2AR is not supposed to be another 1AR. You have to spend more time on your case, backing up your position.
For that reason, it’s important to spend more time on the arguments you choose to highlight, while breezing over the rest quickly.
The arguments that the judge seem to agree with the negative team on need to be addressed, as well as any other strong arguments.
Come up with a speech theme
Note: It is important to have at least one pre-prepared theme that you can use whenever necessary (most rounds against average teams). However, sometimes a round is very unique and you can come up with a better theme for your speech.
The idea is to be flexible. If the negative team runs a counterplan that you’re not prepared for, using the exact same rhetoric in your 2AR will not make sense.
As mentioned in the previous post, being able to tie in your theme with the judge’s occupation is also good.
Pre-script an intro and an outro
Once again, you should already have some pre-prepared introductions and conclusions.
However, I found that while a canned conclusion works fairly frequently, canned openers in the 2AR are not always a good idea.
I think that an introduction should incorporate something that is going on in the round. A canned opener will never have the same relevance as one made up on the spot.
If you can’t come up with one, default to your previous opener. I know I did several times!
Honestly, I think canned voting issues work pretty well in 2AR’s.
You’ll probably be unable to think of better tags on the spot than you do at home.
Plus, you can do a speech structure where you respond to arguments, then give your voting issues afterwards as a slightly unrelated pitch.
If you want to do a “2NR style” 2AR, in which you organize all the arguments into a three voting issue speech, then you’re more likely to need to come up with unique ones in-round.
Organize your speech structure
Whatever structure you choose, make sure to have it well-documented.
If you came up with a new introduction, have a sticky note for it. If you are responding to arguments then going to voting issues, make sure your flow is clear about that.
Time management is very important in the 2AR, so I’d advise figuring out how long you should spend on each point, and using the timer’s hand signals to know when to move on.
Visualize your speech
As discussed earlier, the 2AR is a great speech to use visualization on. You want to be impressive, not just give another list of reasons to vote.
If you still haven’t read my post on visualization, click here.
A good 2AR is essential to winning as affirmative.
It’s a challenge to give a good speech that also leaves the negative team with no hard feelings.
Strive for an ethical speech, but also strive for an excellent speech.
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