Do's and Don'ts of POIs

Author: benw


  • Take at least one POI during your speech
  • Finish your sentence or thought before taking a POI
  • Stop a POI if the person saying the POI has gone over 15 seconds or you understand their point: make sure to be polite and say, "Thank you, I understand your point"
  • If you are uncertain whether you have time to take a POI, respond to the POI with, "I'll take your POI after my point" and continue reading your case
  • Answer POI's with evidence or reasoning
  • Be polite when turning a POI down: either use a hand motion to decline or say, "No thank you"


  • Wave down every POI the other team gives: if you do, it shows the judge you don't know the topic well enough to think on your feet and answer a question brought up by the opposing team
  • Immediately continue reading your case after the POI has finished: try and answer the POI with reasoning or evidence
  • Stop mid-sentence to take a POI: always finish your thought or sentence before taking a POI and let the person giving the POI know that you'll take it after you finish your point
  • Pass the POI onto your next speaker: always try and come up with an answer to a POI, but in a worst case-scenario it's ok to say your next speaker will answer the POI
  • Leave a person with a POI standing for a long time: quickly decide if you want to take their POI or decline it