POINTS OF INFORMATION
Points of Information are introduced in Senior debates. They are an opportunity to ask a brief question (<15 sec) of an opposing speaker. POIs can be either accepted or declined by the speaker.
Each member of the team not speaking must offer at least 2 POIs to the speaker who is presenting. If you do not, you will lose points and potentially the debate.
For example, if the 2nd Negative is speaking, the 1st Affirmative speaker must offer at least 2 POIs, the 2nd Affirmative must offer at least 2 POIs, and the 3rd Affirmative must do the same. The Affirmative team must offer at least 6 POIs during the 2nd Negative's speech in this way.
Ideally, a team will offer a POI every 20-30 seconds during an opposing speaker's speech.
You must accept 2 POIs during your speech. You should not accept more than 2. If you do, you allow the opposing team to distract you from your case and weaken the material you are presenting.
You should wait until you have finished your sentence or concluded the point you are making before you accept a POI. It is important that you control the opposition when accepting their POIs. This prevents you from losing track of your argument and forgetting to complete a point. It also demonstrates your confidence.
POIs should be offered and accepted in a polite manner. While the opportunity to turn and dramatically cry: 'No, sit down!' to an opposition can be all but irresistable, remember that you may give a poor impression by doing so. You should also refrain from shouting 'Point of Information!'. If nothing else, you're more likely to be accepted if you sound quiet and unsure. That's when you can really trap someone.