Those pesky speed drills – no debaters WANTS to do them and you always wonder, am I really getting any faster from doing these things? Well, here is a webpage that allows you to check out just how fast you’re able to read (words per minute) – http://www.spreeder.com/ Its a little weird because it only shows you one word at a time, but I just talked to my husband and he has done it and got up to 400 wpm. How fast can you go? It makes that time alone doing speed drills a little more competitive!
In the interest of making sure everyone knows I appreciate clarity more than speed (fast and garbled does you no good), make sure you do some SPEAKING drills along with reading fast. For a list of speaking drills designed for debate, you can check out: http://debate.uvm.edu/code/071.html and www.uvm.edu/~debate/NFL/rostrumlib/cxCheshier0402.pdf
These are not comprehensive lists, but will give you some things to try (or tell your students to try). Speaking drills should be done on a daily basis – it is like the weight training that athletes do – it isn’t what you compete in, but it makes you so much better at what you compete in! Get training! Summer is the perfect time to begin this – no tournament pressures, no classes to trade off with, and no reason not to!