Why is CX Important? Clarification Concessions Control
Clarification If you miss something, or you need something explained to you, don’t be afraid to ask about it in CX. If you don’t get it, it’s likely that your judge doesn’t either. Disclaimer – don’t rely on CX for this. If you can get around this by reading their case instead of asking about it in CX, that’s a good thing! The more time you have to poke holes in the case, the better. Don’t use CX to ask for taglines, card authors, etc. Ask for the case to see those things. You’re wasting time if you clarify excessively.
Concessions Getting concessions and weakening the position of your opponent is the primary goal of cross examination. A couple of different strategies Socratic method two-step trap Asking them questions to which they could reasonably agree to get them to realize contradictions in their case Reverse-logic trap Getting them to wax lyrical about their case in some way that links them to your position Terror talk, fear of death K, etc.
Control Begin to frame the round and gain control of it Poke holes in the case to prepare you for rebuttals, where you will rip them open Ask “yes” or “no” questions – do not let them explain themselves in CX, especially when they make a concession Move on right away after the concession is made Don’t give it away, be on the offensive but don’t pull the trigger and make the argument in CX necessarily. Saving it for the rebuttal speeches is very strategic
As a Cross-Examiner… Keep control of your own time – don’t give your opponent an extra three minutes to make their case. Yes or no questions As little clarification as possible Keep driving on one point to get them to make concessions, but don’t give away the strategy The judge and your opponent should know what argument is coming without you having made the argument
As a Cross-Examiner… Other things to give you the perception of control: Stand or sit slightly ahead of your opponent, it will make you look like the dominant personality NO PAUSES. Keep asking questions and keep driving your opponent to concessions until they break under the pressure Don’t wait after your opponent stops speaking. Stand up and start right away to catch them off guard
As a Cross-Examinee… Don’t be bullied Seem certain of yourself and strong – if they point out a contradiction or try to get you to make a concession, act like they don’t get the argument, regardless of the validity of the concession they are trying to get you to make. Try not to look at your case when questions are asked. Knowing a lot about the cases and appearing as though you do is very strategic.
As a Cross-Examinee Don’t let them control CX When they ask yes or no questions, keep explaining after yes or no if you can. Humans are naturally resistant to interrupting their compatriots and if you keep talking, you are controlling CX If they pause, keep talking about the previous question instead of just sitting there waiting for them to continue Don’t get defensive – make them the defensive ones by controlling the perception of CX