Keys to Cross-Examination

Keys to Cross-Examination

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Master cross-examination, advance consistently in competition, and become a better communicator for life.

Keys to Cross-Examination... the secrets to champion cross-examinations!

Master cross-examination, advance consistently in competition, and become a better communicator for life. Cross-examination (“CX” or "cross-ex" for short) is a rewarding tool for debaters.

Are you up for the challenge? You have 3 minutes to examine your opponent. Ideas are swirling, questions lingering, and a ballot on the line. Are your questions organized? Can you deliver them with punch and zest? Will you take the risk and think of questions on the fly? Which questions are the ones you need to win the round? Enter champion cross-examination.

Debate champion Cody Herche gives the keys to mastering this challenging aspect of debate. His revolutionary secrets bring cross-examiners and witnesses beyond a mere understanding of CX to a mentality necessary for national competition.

“Unlike regular speech time, cross-examination involves a simultaneous interplay of arguments between speakers as pointed questions are answered. A poor performance can doom an argument or an entire team; a good job can breathe new life into a point or otherwise assist in victory.”


  • Foreword by Vance Trefethen
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Ten Commandments of Cross-Examination
  • Chapter 2: Critical Keys to Cross-Examination
  • Chapter 3: Cross-Examination for the Witness
  • Chapter 4: Triage, Trees and Prioritization
  • Chapter 5: Examining the Examiner
  • Chapter 6: Examining Poker for Cross-Ex Clues
  • Chapter 7: Cross-Examination Drills
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • What Others Are Saying...
“Cody Herche has the analytical mind and the experience... Open the door to better debating with Keys to Cross-Examination!”
- Vance Trefethen, Author of Blue BookCases

"Cody has not only proven himself in the competitive arena by taking home the most coveted awards, but he has given back to the growing community of speakers and debaters with this most excellent book. Cody is truly 'training minds for action'."

- Chris Jeub, President of Training Minds Ministry, Author of Blue Book
“Cody’s reputation as a debater speaks for itself. Cross-examination is an overlooked skill in policy debate. Master cross-examination and set yourself apart. Cody’s book is a well-researched, yet conversational, read filled with personal anecdotes. This book is brilliant. Both novice and varsity competitors will find it relevant. Take advantage of this opportunity to benefit from the experience of a seasoned debate veteran."
- Matthew Baker, 2008 NEDA Debate National Champion
"True to form, Cody is cogent, comprehensive and charming in his presentation of the critical skills and attitudes that will give students the competitive edge in cross-ex. I would heartily recommend this book to both Policy and Value debaters."
- Kim Anderson, Author of How to Coach a Club

"Cross examination is the simultaneously the most important and the most neglected debate skill. In this book, Cody Herche opens up a vast field of opportunity for every debater who wishes to dominate their cross-examinations while maintaining credibility and likeability. It’s an art and a science, both terrifying and exhilarating, and Cody has you covered every step of the way. Grab the Keys, and take control of your cross-examination." - Sam Hoel, Team-Policy 2007 Hall of Fame Champion (Cody's student)

ISBN: 978-1-936147-30-4