Implication is explaining the result of your argument. This is most commonly seen in rebuttal or summary, where there's the most direct responses to another argument. This could be delinks or turns the second speaker reads, frontlines made by either, or any in between. However, many times these responses are left simply as the bare argument - the point you make, that seems responsive in your head, but perhaps not to the judge.
When making responses, that response is based on hours of research both by you and your opponents. The judge is new to the topic, and with lay judges, is new to debate. It's your job with implication to bridge that gap - explain what the effect of the response is on the round. Now that this new point, this response you've made, is floating around in the round, how do arguments change? (Most of the time, this is just what changes about the argument you're responding to.) In other words, what's the result if your response is true?
In most rounds, you don't have the time to completely implicate the response, go down and explain each part of the argument you've argued against. However, it can be a good exercise to figure out the full extent of the argument before shortening it up for a real debate. So, what would implication look like with no time constraints?
Think about the link chain of an argument. We've got the uniqueness (what's going on now), the link (what the resolution changes), the internal link (some result of that link), and the impact (what agreed-upon good/bad thing results). Now, a response probably won't challenge the entire link chain there. In fact, most responses, whether in rebuttal, summary, or final focus, are only attacking one part of that link chain. (Some don't - some are unrelated offensive arguments, which don't contest the argument and should be implicated slightly differently; some are responsive to the entire argument, and their implication is usually self-evident.)
Pick out what specific sub-argument your response attacks. Let's say your opponent has argued government spending's under control, but passing Medicare for All costs a ton of money, which forces the government to divert money from private investment and spending, thus hurting economic growth and poverty reduction. (Each of those parts is one of the previously-mentioned parts of an argument - identify them!) To implicate, move down their argument to the part you attack, explain the disagreement, and explain the resultant difference. To demonstrate, let's look at four responses - one that attacks each different part of the argument.
Example 1 - response to uniqueness
Response alone - Debt's at 26 trillion and rising, and will expand as an aging population increases the burden on Medicare and Social Security.
Implicated response - (identify where we disagree) Spending is not under control, (give your argument) as debt's at 26 trillion and rising, and will expand as an aging population increases the burden on Medicare and Social Security. (we do agree on some parts) Even if affirming increases spending, (explain how the rest of the argument changes, assuming this response is true) investment will be diverted regardless, hurting growth and poverty reduction in either world.
Example 2 - response to link
Response alone - Affirming simplifies a complex multi-payer system, reducing administrative costs that Jones 19 of CNN finds consume a fifth of the healthcare budget.
Implicated response - (we do agree on some parts) Spending might be manageable, (identify where we disagree) but affirming would make that even better. (give your argument) Affirming simplifies a complex multi-payer system, reducing administrative costs that Jones 19 of CNN finds consume a fifth of the healthcare budget. (explain how the rest of the argument changes, assuming this response is true) Thus, less investment is diverted and growth and poverty reduction increases.
Example 3 - response to internal link
Response alone - The CBO finds the US's savings pool is so large that increasing government spending draws from unused capital, not existing private investments.
Implicated response - (we do agree on some parts) Even if government spending is alright and increases by affirming, (identify where we disagree) that spending won't hurt. (give your argument) The CBO finds the US's savings pool is so large that increasing government spending draws from unused capital, not existing private investments, (explain how the rest of the argument changes, assuming this response is true) not changing the US's economic growth and poverty.
Example 4 - response to impact
Response alone - Investment only helps the investors, who divert would-be poverty reduction to private profit, as CBS reports 90% of the benefits of economic growth went to the top 1 percent.
Implicated response - (we do agree on some parts) Sure, Medicare for All could destroy investment and prevent increases in economic growth, (identify where we disagree) but that growth isn't worth much anyway. (give your argument) Investment only helps the investors, who divert would-be poverty reduction to private profit, as CBS reports 90% of the benefits of economic growth went to the top 1 percent. (explain how the rest of the argument changes, assuming this response is true) Thus, there wouldn't be any poverty reduction, no matter how much we grow the economy.
(This response isn't the best - impact defense often isn't the most persuasive, especially when generic.)
There's no hard-and-fast rule for making your implications readable in round. However, consider some possible places to save time in responses.
Is there parallel or repetitive explanation between the content of the response and the wording of the implication?
What parts are self-evident? Try checking with someone who doesn't know the topic/is new to debate.
Have any explanations been made in previous implications? Are you making multiple responses with the same effect?
Is clash implied or embedded in the signposting? In other words, does your introduction of the different arguments do the work for you?
Are there sections of the argument that both sides clearly agree on, or are more universal truths than arguments? Maybe skip them.
As practice, try going back through the examples and shortening them yourself.
Example - implicating broad responses
In this round, at 21:50, the second speaker for the affirmative reads an overarching argument against the entire neg case. Leaving it as the standalone response may be sufficient, but especially with the big panel of this round, they choose to implicate this further. Watch for the level of specificity used - not going too far but still giving some context for the arguments.