FLASHPOINT ORIENTATION DOCUMENT
LAWRENCE DEBATE UNION
We tape our television program at Vermont Community Access Media as well as in other locations.
The program is designed to be a fast-paced discussion of some important issue featuring informed citizens. Almost always they are those associated with the LDU but we also invite selected debate colleagues and friends to join us. We do not aspire to having experts tell us what to think, but to show that well-informed citizens are able to think for themselves.
The program is taped in one 28-minute segment without stops or pauses.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The camera is probably on you all the time; so don’t do anything you don’t want people to see.
- You do not have to say specific things, as the program is not scripted, just think about what you want to say and then say it. Beginning participants will want to have their thoughts collected before they speak.
· Make yourself heard. Initiate, comment on what other people have said, and feel free to disagree.
- Interrupting people every now and then is appropriate here (even if it would not be in everyday conversation) because it makes the program seem more dynamic.
- Don’t hog the floor, keep your comments fairly short, and by that we mean generally to less than 90 seconds.
- Speak either to the camera or someone else on the panel.
- Speak in relatively formal terms and avoid needless slang, because we try and reach a broad audience. Swearing is appropriate if you think it serves a real communicative purpose, otherwise avoid it
The format is as follows:
- Introduction of show
- Introduction of panel (be ready to answer a question or so about yourself)
- Introduction of the topic
- A discussion generally divided up into several topics agreed to before the show
- A “closing comment” from each panelist of about 15-30 seconds
- At the end of the show the moderator will urge people to… “Think for yourself,” and we generally all say this together and point at the camera.
If you are a first timer feel free to watch a show and then get involved.