When you are negative, the biggest thing you want to do is make sure that your K is not generic. A generic K is when the link to your opponent is not actually a link to what they say in round but could be a link to anything. Let’s use the following scenario as an example:
Resolved: A just government ought to recognize an unconditional right of workers to strike.
If you read an Afropessimism argument that says that the government is anti-Black and so we should always reject that, that is not a very compelling argument. That would apply to any affirmative on any topic about anything. However, if you read a link about how labor unions and the right to strike has historically been used to bracket out low income and unemployed African Americans, that is a very different (and much more compelling) link! It is specific to the right to strike and is listening to (and refuting) the advocacy of the specific affirmative.
Furthermore, do not forget about the ‘case page.’ The case page refers to the 1AC. You may have a wonderful K, but if you concede the affirmative’s contentions, you are putting yourself in a difficult spot. Have your prewritten responses prepared. If you do not have prewritten responses, go ahead do your best to refute the contentions in a way that has nothing to do with your K. Why? Because, if you lose your K, you want to make sure that you still beat back your opponent on their own grounds. As a result, make sure your K is not too long and you have enough time to properly debate your opponent’s framework and contentions.
Finally, do not undermine the importance of extensions and overviews. I would recommend prewriting your extension for your K. That way you can time them and feel truly comfortable with the way you are defending your original argument. If you are not familiar with overviews, overviews are located at the beginning of your rebuttal speech. They take about 30 seconds, and it is when you summarize your K, tell the judge the focal issues of the debate, and explain why you are winning those issues. Think of it as the appetizer to your entree of a speech! Overviews can (and should) be prewritten. They can be formatted as follows:
There are (1-3) reasons to vote for the negative in this debate.
If I can win any of these arguments and sufficiently link to the ROB, you can easily vote negative.
This overview can be referenced at the end of your speech as a closer as well. It provides good organization, helps summarize your critical scholarship in a digestible way, and makes you sound confident in your ability to beat your opponent.