Debaters - you are invited!

As a way to celebrate the work of our debaters this season, LAMDL will be hosting “Resolved: Celebrate Debate,” an online video based speech contest.

Each submission will have 5 minutes to give an original speech about (1) affirmative or negative argument they prepared for this year’s resolution: “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.” Speeches will be evaluated by judges, and top speeches will be awarded prizes including an iPad and gift cards. Continue reading below for details on how to enter!

Topic Guidelines

Students should pick one file (affirmative case/case answers, disadvantage, counterplan, kritik, etc) they prepared for the 2019-20 debate season and give a speech informing a general audience about that topic. Students are encouraged to use the LAMDL Evidence Set, but ARE NOT limited to it.

The speech should:

  • Inform the audience about the argument
  • Be comprehensible to a general audience
  • Cite evidence, but be mostly original writing

Speeches should consider the following questions:

  • Relevance: Is the topic related to the resolution? Is the thesis clearly established? Does the delivery assist in establishing the importance of the topic?
  • Relatability: Can the audience relate to the topic? Is the delivery personable? Does the speaker establish how others are impacted by the topic? Does the speaker do a good job informing?
  • Originality: Does the speaker address the topic in a unique, inventive way?
  • Time Management: Does the speech fall close to the 5 minute limit? Is it too short or too long?

Some suggested topics using the LAMDL Evidence set include:

  • Should the United States reduce arms sales to Taiwan? Why or why not?
  • Should the United States reduce arms sales to Saudi Arabia? Why or why not?
  • Should we be concerned about Russian arms sales and market share growth? Why or why not?
  • Should the United States increase its investment in the defense industry? Why or why not?

If you are unsure a topic you’d like to speak about meets the topic guidelines, LAMDL staff can be asked to confirm via email: When emailing about this issue please use the subject line “Topic Approval Inquiry” so we can better manage questions.

Submission Instructions & Guidelines

Students will submit their responses by completing this Google Form. Included in the form, is a section to upload the video submission. Students must submit cited sources along with their speech.

Submissions will be accepted starting Monday, March 30th. The submission deadline will be Friday, April 17th. Some submissions will be highlighted on our social media during the contest. There will be a virtual awards ceremony on April 25th, time and platform to be announced.

Each video submission should be less than 1GB in size. Larger file sizes will not be accepted. If you need help reducing your file size or have any other issues with uploading, send us an email: Be sure to use the subject line "Submission Issue Inquiry."

Evaluation Guidelines

Video submissions will be judged based on delivery, organization and content. Here are some of the metrics* we will be looking for when evaluating each speech:


  • Facial Expression (relaxed, animated, and responsive)
  • Vocal Expression (variance, rate, pitch, volume, intensity, inflection):
  • Diction, Grammar, and Word Usage (No “you know’s,” “um’s,” or “ah’s”)
  • Eye Contact (looks at audience, not staring or looking down at feet)
  • Bodily Action and Gestures (relaxed, comfortable, no distracting movements)

Organization and Content:

  • Introduction (presented an interesting introduction to the topic)
  • Body (followed organized outline and developed points)
  • Conclusion (summary and closing comments)
  • Use of Evidence & Logic (sources must be cited and submitted as well)
  • Length (maximum 5 minutes)
*Judges may make additional delivery, organization, and content considerations not outlined explicitly in this guideline.


Winners of this contest will receive awesome gifts! Top awards include an iPad as well as gift cards for finalists!

We hope this will be a fun and rewarding experience for LAMDL debaters in this unprecedented time. This is just one of the events we have planned for the remainder of the season and look forward to rolling out more. Your feedback and participation are always appreciated! If you have any ideas you’d like us to implement, feel free to reach out to our email:

Thank you,

The LAMDL Staff