top of page

Overview of the Second Speech: World Schools

The second speaker is responsible for both attacking the opposing case and rebuilding and introducing their own substantive arguments. In this article, we will analyze the timing and role of the second speaker.

The role of the second speaker in World Schools Debate is two-fold. First, the speaker must properly address both the principled and practical stance of the opponents mentioned in the prior speech. Second, the speaker introduces the third and final substantive for their side of the house, completing their side’s given case.


In order to accomplish these outlined tasks, the second speaker must properly manage time. Striking a proper balance between refuting the opposing case while establishing your own is essential to giving an effective second speech in World Schools Debate. As such, the time and order outline we recommend is below:

0:00-0:15 Introduction and hook

0:15-0:30 Clarify any framing disputes

0:30-2:00 Establish any assumptions or strategic errors made by the opposing team

2:00-4:00 Analyze the first clash point

4:00-6:00 Analyze the second clash point

6:00-7:45 Introduce the third substantive argument

7:45-8:00 Conclusion


The speech begins with a quick but catchy introduction that reaffirms the central stance of your side. A skillful introduction will also include noting a strategic error or the key problem with the opposing stance. After the introduction, if necessary, the second speaker should clarify any disputes on the framework of the round (i.e., burdens). Once framing has been established, you will point out the major errors made by the opposing team that do not fit within the bounds of your selected clash points. This is perhaps one of the most important roles of the second speaker. You need to identify any unreasonable assumptions that the opposing case relies upon or note any strategic errors, such as contradictions, that can negate their entire case.

By pointing out these flaws early on in the debate, the second speaker sets the groundwork for the judge’s questioning of the opposing case.

Once you have finished clarifications, you begin the crux of the second speech: analyzing the clash of the round. For each clash point, note a common dispute that summarizes the impacts of the topic. For example, in a debate about compulsory voting, a major clash point would be upholding democracy. Under this clash, you will identify how the opposing team views the given point and why their view or argumentation is invalid, effectively refuting their stance. Then, you will establish why the comparative on your side of the house is preferable within that clash point. Typically, the second speaker identifies two main clash points, but if necessary, the time allotted can be broken up to allow for three clash points.

After the opposing case is refuted and your own has been established, you will introduce your third substantive argument. Typically, these arguments are extensions of the two previous arguments, are rooted in practical impacts, and refer to the topic in a global context. Once you have finished establishing this substantive argument, you will end with a quick conclusion, which likely ties into the introduction you gave.

For more information on the content discussed in this article, please refer to the World Schools Resource page.

bottom of page