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Public Forum Debate: Students competing at the 2023 National Tournament on stage.
Public Forum (PF) involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning a current event. Students present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a “crossfire” (similar to a cross-examination) with the opportunity to question the opposing team. Often, community members are recruited to judge this event.
This course will take coaches new to PF or new to debate in general through the ins and outs of the event. Upon completion of the course, coaches will be able to:
  • Follow a round of PF and identify the different speeches, their purpose, and the strategy at play.
  • Explain key terms and how they fit in to the structure of the event.
  • Implement strategies for success in coaching both in the classroom and at tournaments.
  • Build on their initial understanding with additional resources to learn more about coaching PF.
Bryce Piotrowski

Bryce Piotrowski

Bryce Piotrowski is the Director of Speech and Debate at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, and a Co-Director of Public Forum Boot Camp (PFBC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was formerly an Assistant Debate Coach for Lakeville Debate in Lakeville, Minnesota, and the President of the University of Minnesota’s National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) chapter. This text is heavily adapted and borrowed from Lawrence Zhou’s “Introduction to Coaching Lincoln-Douglas Debate,” written for the NSDA.

Course Time: 2 hours