The Art of Questioning (Hollywood Edition)

Published on Jan 12, 2019

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The Art of Questioning (Hollywood Edition)

NYC Urban Debate League - www.debate.nyc

Tactics of the Questioner

  • Stay Cool! Do not become hostile.
  • Use all your time to save prep time!
  • Closed-Ended Questions (Yes/No Questions; Leading Questions) v Open-Ended Questions
  • Stay in Control.

Tactics of the Questioner

  • Clarification
  • Question them about evidence
  • If you have no questions, just ask to clarify
  • No Pit of Doom: don’t push them over edge
  • Reverse Pit of Doom

Tactics of the Respondent

  • Do not become hostile, even if they are! Take Advantage of Open-Ended Questions. Take your time before you answer Take your time during your answer Ask them to clarify the question if needed Ask them questions Never give up! Just say your partner will answer that in next speech. Stay confident! Teamwork!
  • Do not become hostile, even if they are
  • Take advantage of open ended questions
  • Take your time before you answer
  • Take your time during your answer
  • Ask them to clarify the question if needed
  • Never give up! Just Just say your partner will answer that in next speech. Stay confident!
  • Teamwork!

Tactics of the Respondent II

  • Don’t have to answer Yes/No questions - you can explain
  • You don’t answer! “I don’t have an answer right now but my partner will address that.”
  • If they are not asking a question - don’t let them give a speech - ask them “What is your question?”

Does it Count?

  • Yes!
  • Do not forget to use any points/issues/arguments during your speech!
  • Some judges will not count any points made in questioning unless made in speech

Be Specific

  • Close ended questioning
  • Short and sweet
  • Make sure they answer the question
  • You can interrupt (politely). "Thank you... my question is actually simpler....."
  • Set up - "Leading them down the garden path" or "pit of doom"

Questioning the Questioner

  • Sometimes you may not want or cannot answer a question
  • You can say "I don't know" (just be honest!), you can say my partner will address, you can evade the question
  • Never blindly follow the questioner. Ask questions if needed.

Questioning the Questioner by Madea

Setting up the Respondent

  • "leading them down the garden path"
  • "leading them to the pit of doom"
  • Starting slow, agreeable, humble, let them bring their guard down

The Art of the "Set Up"

  • Plan your question
  • Plan out your next question based on their response:
  • "If they say A" I will ask them ____
  • "If they say B" I will then ask them ______

Skill - The Art of Deflection

  • Deflection/Diversion - bring up another topic. "Turning the Tables"
  • Practical in Conflict Resolution, someone very aggressive, disoriented, heated debate
  • Ask them to clarify
  • Ask them a question
  • Be honest. Say you don't know
  • "My partner will address this..."

3 Levels of Questioning

  • #1 - Recall (simple)
  • #2 - Inference (harder)
  • #3 - Evaluation & Application (most difficult)

Levels of Questioning #1 - Recall

  • Level 1 - Basic recall, clarification. Who? What? When? How?
  • Level 2 - Inference. Why? Explain? Predict?
  • Whose home did Goldilocks break into?
  • What did she do?

Levels of Questioning #2 - Inference

  • Level 2 - Inference. Why? Explain? Predict?
  • Why is it wrong for Goldilocks to enter the bears' home and eat their food?

Skills - Levels of Questioning - Level 3

Levels #3 - Evaluation & Application

  • make real world connections, main idea, themes
  • "is it ever okay to take someone's possessions without their permission?"

Untitled Slide

Questioning Funnel

  • Baseline Q - establishing their arguments
  • Open Ended Q - discovering their ideas
  • Probing Q - detecting weaknesses
  • Close Ended Q - making your points

Leading Questions

  • Yes or No questions
  • Close Ended Questioning (Yes/No)
  • Open Ended Questioning (Fishing for something to hook them in)
  • Controlling the witness
  • Repeat your question if not answered

Jedi Mind Tricks

  • Inserting a premise in your question
  • Being calm, cool, nice to bring their guard down
  • Being agreeable to bring their guard down, smile, nod head
  • Save the point for your speech

Probing (Why questions)

  • Always ask why
  • Dig deeper, deeper, deeper until they can't
  • Don't be annoying. Don't be a broken record. Other ways to ask "Why?"
  • Probing - your testing them. If answers are strong, then move on to another probe.

Bonus (if you have time)

What not to do - Make things Up!

  • Kay & Peele Sketch
  • The suspect uses a "cat poster" to make up an entire story.

Interrupting

  • One at a time
  • One at a time
  • If you are going to interrupt, be polite, be respectful
  • Kay & Peele "One at a Time" paradoy of Les Miserable (explicit language warning)