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Public forum debate can be compared to a nationally-televised debate, such as 'Crossfire' in which the debaters argue a topic of no national importance, typically one involving foreign or domestic policy as opposed to Lincoln-Douglas' more philosophy-centric debate, in terms that a "common" person would understand. Similar to policy debate, the debate in public forum debate is conducted by teams of two-four people alternating speeches for their side, either affirming or negating their topic. In contrast to policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate, there is little focus on extreme speed or arcane debate jargon or argumentation theory; instead, successful public forum debaters must make persuasive and logical arguments in a manner that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Because of its strong relevance to the real-world and ability to develop life skills, public forum debate has exploded in popularity since its introduction into high school debate by the National Forensic League. Some might think of public forum debate as a less formal form of NEDA Debate.

A Sample PFD Debate