The ability (and, at a NDA
level, the necessity) to aruge incredibily quickly, reading evidence and making args
at a rate that sounds, to many people outside of the debate community
, like gibberish
. The average speed debater speaks at a rate of approximately 30 words per five second period. The amazing ones ... well, they probably more than double that rate.
There are clear advantages to speed debate. If one team has the clear advantage of being much faster than the other team, and they can also make good arguments at that speed, the other team won't have a chance. They will run out of time to respond to arguments (unless they group and dump, which doesn't always work) and will be spread out of the round.
A manifestation of policy debate, speed really only works for higher level debaters. Often, novices will attempt speed and miserably fail. If a debater is unintelligable or makes shitty args because of speed, he or she is much better off just slowing the hell down.
Some love speed, some hate it. Usually, those who hate it mostly hate it because they can't do it.