Format NK Eloquentia – English

This is the format of the NK Eloquentia! A format with even more interaction and even more room to profile yourself. Moreover, there is a completely new jury guide, so you can better see what we are looking at! If you have any questions about the format, please send an email to


At the NK eloquentia, everyone participates as an individual, and the participants compete to become the most convincing speaker in the Netherlands. Ten minutes before the start of the debate, they receive a position on a current theme and a position in the debate. During these ten minutes they have time to come up with arguments and write a speech, without the help of the internet or other people.

After the ten minutes, the debate begins, with four individual speakers. There are two proposition speakers and two opponents, but they are not on the same team! Each speaker has a three-minute speech in the debate and there is also a free round where there is room for a discussion. Each debate ends with a fifteen-second slot per person. The beautiful colorful picture above shows schematically how the debate works.

During the speeches, speakers are given the opportunity to explain their own points. Refutation is allowed, but we especially want to know what the central reason is why the speaker is for/against the statement. The speakers are not allowed to interrupt each other during the speeches.

In the open phase, the only rule is that there are no rules. One may interrupt each other, shout at each other or do a dance. Whether you earn a lot of points with it is another thing! Ideally, this is the time to refute and sharply question the other debaters. Be clear and concise! The jury does not intervene during the open phase, unless physical force is used.

After the open phase, there is a short break for the speakers to prepare for the closing statements.

During the closing statements, all speakers have 15 seconds to put themselves in the spotlight once more. They can show once more what they have brought! The speakers are cut off abruptly after these 15 seconds, so they are not allowed to finish their sentences.


The NK Eloquentia is all about convincing the jury. The jury pretends that they are an average newspaper reader in the Netherlands. They know who Kamala Harris is, are aware of the employee shortages in healthcare and education and know that young people voted against Brexit. They are not familiar with the interest rate policy of the ECB, the political tensions in Libya or the birth lottery. But… Of course you can explain it to them! You can only give whole points. At the end of the debate add up the points on all categories of a speaker, this is the final score!

The jury will assess you on 5 points:
Argumentation: Is the debater able to substantiate his main arguments?
Presentation: Is the speaker able to talk entertainingly?
Speech writing: Is the speaker clear and fresh in his words?
Responses: Does the speaker respond to the arguments and attacks of the opponents?
Holism: Is the speaker an added value in the debate? Is the speaker sympathetic?

These 5 points come together in a score between 0 and 50. View the rubrik below to see exactly how you will be assessed

  0-2 (speaker still needs practice) 3-4 (moderate speaker) 5-6 (average speaker) 7-8 (good speaker) 9-10 (very good speaker)
The speaker gives no arguments, only statements. These are barely explained and are irrelevant. The speaker gives few arguments, mostly statements. The explanation is not necessarily bad, but it falls short. The speaker gives relevant arguments and also explains them. The analysis is not always correct and the arguments are sometimes supported with examples. The arguments are relevant, are clearly explained with the help of examples and the analysis is correct. The arguments are clearly weighed up in the debate. The arguments are relevant, perfectly explained with realistic and appropriate examples and weighed up crystal clear in the debate
Eye contact
The speaker is not attractive to listen to. Poor use is made of the voice and non-verbal communication, which makes it distracting. The speaker uses the voice and non-verbal communication, but does not yet do so in a good way. (e.g. talking too fast). The presentation sometimes distracts from the story. The speaker is easy to follow and communicates clearly. His presentation does not distract from the story, but does not reinforce it either. The speaker makes good use of the voice and non-verbal communication. It is attractive to listen to the speaker because he incorporates emotion or humor into the speech. The speaker has an excellent presentation. Presentation not only fits well with the speech, but also reinforces it. Eg. by changing the presentation to the topic throughout the speech.
Writing a speech
Core message
The speech is difficult to follow. The speaker jumps from one subject to another without offering structure. There is no opening or closing. The speech contains some structure, but is still difficult to follow. The opening and closing are relatively unclear or have no added value. The structure of the speech is clear and the speech is easy to follow. An opening and closing is used, but these have no added value. The speech is easy to follow and well structured. The core message is clear. There will be an attractive opening, closing and possibly. Style figures used. The speech is a round whole in which all elements are not only pleasant individually but also support a common goal. This connects the different parts of the speech.
The speaker does not respond to the opponents or to the rebuttals of the opponents, but only repeats his own arguments. Was very dominant or absent during the reaction phase The speaker sometimes responds to arguments/refutations of the opponents and mainly repeats his own arguments. The speaker was too often dominant or absent during the reaction phase The speaker responds adequately to the opponent’s arguments and behaves well during the reaction phase. The speaker responds adequately to the opponent’s arguments. The rebuttals focus on the opponent’s best argument and come in a timely manner. Sharp questions are asked or answered. The speaker presented himself well during the reaction phase. The speaker responds wonderfully to the opponent. In the refutation, the speaker shows that he/she can attack different parts of an argument. Eg. assumptions, execution or effects. Everything from the 7-8 group should also apply.
Anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories!
The speaker was unsympathetic, dragged the debate down and it’s not nice to listen to this speaker. The speaker did not add value to the debate, but did not diminish it either. The speaker is pleasant to listen to and has made a good contribution to the debate. The speaker has “it”. You enjoy listening to this speaker. This speaker’s contribution raised the debate. The speaker is not only pleasant to listen to, but also comes across as very sympathetic. The speaker seems to carry the debate.