If you haven’t read my post on visualization, you’ll need to read it before using this. Click here to read it.
Notes for use: If this is your first or second time doing this, try it out in a quiet location. Read it through a couple of times first so you know what you’ll have to do, since it’s best if your eyes are closed for the visualization. If you must, you can practice a few times with your eyes open, reading as you go. Also, this not meant to replace your own visualization: it’s just a sample one you could use until you’re used to the idea. It will be most effective if you come up with your own version.
Close your eyes and imagine walking into a debate round. You’re the first one there. Make sure you visualize all the elements of a debate room: four chairs for debaters along with two tables, and a table with two chairs for the timer and judge. You place your binder and flow pad where you will sit, then take a sip of water.
Your partner and your opponents walk in, and, shortly after, so does the judge. You smile warmly at the judge, who smiles back gratefully. Your posture is perfectly poised without being robotic, and you greet the debaters cordially.
After everyone is set up, you all head outside the room to pray, and then back in to greet the judge. You give a firm but pleasant handshake, and feel an instant connection with the judge. You can tell the judge already likes you.
When it’s time for your speech, you see the judge clearly excited that you’re the next speaker—he/she expects you to be the best one. You walk up to the lectern, set it to the side with a smile, and gesture to make sure everyone is ready. You pause for effect, then begin speaking with a clear tone.
As you speak, you emphasize key points with powerful hand motions and walk away from the lectern to show how comfortable you are in the room. As you read evidence, it is very clear to the judge what part you want them to pay attention to. Your judge writes your points down quickly and looks up, almost eager for more. As you refute your opponent’s clearly misguided points, the judge nods at your clear logic and concise speaking style.
Fast forward to the end of your speech: you give a fantastic closer, then wait for your cross-examiner. Even though you’re answering the questions, you’re clearly in control of the cross-examination. You admit anything that doesn’t truly hurt your position, but you have a concise rebuttal for questions that take it too far. The cross-examiner sits down feeling like they just wasted 3 minutes, and you sit down feeling like you just improved your credibility.
At the end of the round, all four debaters shake the judge’s hand once again and you make meaningful eye contact as you repeat your firm handshake. You watched the judge as he/she greeted the other three debaters, and you can tell you’re his/her favorite.
Now imagine receiving the ballot for the round, and seeing 30 speaker points by your name along with all positive feedback in the speaker box.
Congratulations, you just did your first visualization.
You might be thinking, “That seems a bit cheesy…” If so, that’s probably because I wrote it. 😉 You must construct your own visualization that seems more natural to you.
Another possible thought is, “that was supremely narcissistic”. That’s kind of the point, actually. The point is to make yourself look really, impossibly good. Never visualize yourself doing poorly, it will hurt your performance.
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