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Event Overviews and Resources 12: Public Forum Debate (Feat. PF tips from YuYu Yuan and Josh Hansen)

Welcome to A Long Winter's Clap: 12 Days of Speech and Debate Event Overviews and Resources. For our final Long Winter's Clap episode, we will be exploring Public Forum Debate with the help of two generous and extraordinary debate talents: Seniors YuYu Yuan from Cheyenne East and Joshua Hansen from Jackson.


Public Forum Debate is a partner debate that was designed to be an accessible debate in the style of presidential debates on current event topics that change monthly. It is a shorter form debate than Policy Debate, with some very different strategic elements.

Here is a description of PF Debate straight from the NSDA:

“Public Forum involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning a current event. Proceeding a coin toss, the winners choose which side to debate (PRO or CON) or which speaker position they prefer (1st or 2nd), and the other team receives the remaining option. Students present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a “crossfire” (similar to a cross examination) with the opportunity to question the opposing team. Oftentimes community members are recruited to judge this event.”

Public Forum Debate has some very unique qualities that make it a popular form of debate for student competitors: the speeches are short and punchy, the cross-examination allows for a back-and-forth question and answer free for all, the topics are constantly changing and feel fresh, and the debates are fast paced and fun. PF is a debate with accessible appeal that can really help students acquire usable argumentation skills and political savvy.


Listen to the podcast episode for details from these two Public Forum senior all-stars in the Wyoming debate community: YuYu Yuan and Joshua Hansen. Here is a small taste of their ideas for PF debaters:

Five hot tips for PF debaters from Cheyenne East Speech and Debate Superhuman YuYu Yuan

1. Have confidence in your arguments.

2. Prep by researching and writing blocks.

3. Make logical arguments and analysis.

4. Weigh.

5. Time allocation.

Three key areas to consider for PF success from Jackson Debate Mastermind Joshua Hansen

1. You win the rounds you win through the preparation you do outside of rounds.

2. Get on the same page with your partner.

3. Structure and presentation matters. Find what works for you.

Thanks so much to YuYu and Josh for the gift of these helpful tips for PF debaters.


If you’d like to hear more from YuYu and Josh on One Clap - you are in luck! Both are good friends of the podcast, and I will link to their previous episodes on the show:

2021 Jan. PF Topic Analysis, Aff Arguments, & Neg Arguments w/ YuYu Yuan

Josh Hansen & The Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series Championship

Event Overviews and Resources 6: Extemporaneous Speaking (Feat. YuYu Yuan and Jean-Luc Willson)


If you have any ideas for the podcast or would like to help out with content here at One Clap Speech and Debate, send me a message on the website or an email ( I hope that the Long Winter's Clap episodes have been helpful!

As the Speech and Debate season nears an end for this year, I have less time to create content for the podcast and the website. But, I'll continue to do my best to get usable, inspirational, and helpful content out there.

Be sure to subscribe, rate, and review the One Clap Podcast wherever you listen! Watch for new episodes of One Clap, Rock On! Debate, Coach Connection, and Speech Love!


More links to helpful resources for Lincoln-Douglas Debate:

NSDA Competition Guide:

Debate Resources Video from the 2020 Wyoming Coaches Conference, Presented by Marcus Viney, Matt Liu, and Mack Kramer:

Mack Kramer's Debate Resource Compendium:

Public Forum Debate Lesson Plans from NSDA:

Wyoming Debate Roundup:

Public Forum and Congressional Debate Textbook by Hannan, Berkman, and Meadows

What to expect in PF from a Student's Perspective from NSDA:

PF Resources from Judge Training:

PF Resources from

Quick Guide to PF:

Sample PF Ballot from NSDA:


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