Each speaker has a particular role within a debate and must follow the procedures associated with their position.
You must become a member to sign up for a speaking position. Note: if you sign up for any position and consequently have to cancel, you are responsible to find a replacement.
This is the chair for the evening’s activities. The Speaker explains the format of the evening’s formal debate, explains the roles of the participants and introduces the participants as they come up to speak. In addition, after the formal debate, the Speaker will conduct the audience vote to determine the winner of the popular vote. The speaker remains impartial throughout the debate and discussion.
The Impromptu Speech Organizer chooses a number of topics, often organized around a theme, and invites meeting attendees to speak on a topic chosen at random, generally for 1 minute, with no preparation time.
The time keeper is responsible for timing impromptu presentations, formal debate speeches and audience participation commentaries. Through an audible bell, the time keeper notifies the presenter when 1 minute remains and when time has elapsed.
Prime Minister (PM)
The PM is the first speaker in favour of the resolution being debated. The PM is responsible for defining the terms in the proposition, establishing the Government’s lines of reasoning that support the motion and setting the foundation for the Member of the Government’s (MG) arguments.
Leader of Opposition (LO)
The LO is the first person to speak against the resolution. The LO should address and attempt to dismiss each of the PM’s points one by one and also provide alternative viewpoints and examples to build and support the Opposition’s case.
Member of Government (MG)
The MG is the second speaker in favour of the proposition and is responsible for countering the LO’s arguments one by one, while expanding the PM’s points to support the Government’s position.
Member of Opposition (MO)
The MO is the second speaker against the proposition and, as the final speaker in the “constructive” portion of the debate, is the last person allowed to put forward new arguments. The MO will counter the arguments of the MG and further develop Opposition arguments.
The Adjudicator provides feedback to the speakers in the formal debate. In order, these are the essential responsibilities:
- Assign each debating team a score as defined in this criteria such that the winner is determined correctly.
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the teams and the individual speakers and provide constructive criticism on how to improve.
This commentary is given after the popular vote is taken (but not announced).