A debate is a discussion where debaters put forward contrasting views on a particular subject. First things first, you need to take a stance for (pro) the topic or against (con). Next thing you need to do is meticulously analyze both sides of the topic. It helps to list all the pros and cons of both sides of the argument. Pay close attention to your opponent’s strongest points and find weaknesses to attack in the debate. Remember, you are trying to sway the opinion of the jurors towards your side of the argument.
Preparation to the Big Day
Getting ready to any debates means getting ready to a form of public speaking. There are quite a few ways to get ready to delivering a public speech (for example, you can find some here), however, here are the most crucial ones when it comes to getting ready to a debate.
Think the Topic and the Arguments Through
One can only be a debater in case they know a lot about the topic raised and can support their points with certain evidence. Therefore, even if you are sure you know a lot, start with some revising and doing a little research on the topic. Write down the supporting facts, list down the works that can be addressed to. After this, write a debate introduction and the answers to the questions you can imagine you will get.
Learn the Materials
It is obvious that to be confident in every word, you have to know the material perfectly. So, preparing is one of the most important factors of any successful speech. Read the text you have composed and the list of the supporting evidences everywhere: at home, during the walk, in the bus. It is not obligatory to read it aloud, the crucial part is the fact is that you practice and try to be better than you were yesterday.
Do not be afraid of missing time while you think about every word of the speech. Think that you would spend more time in front of the screen without any use. The more you think about the sense of every sentence, the more brilliant your memory will become.
Before The Actual Debate
- Acknowledge the jurors, opponents and spectators.
- Proceed to introducing your argument, try establishing certain chemistry with the spectators and judges.
The Actual Debate
This is where you argue your case; again, keep in mind that the aim is to convince the jurors. From your research, you should have key points. Use statistics, opinions from experts and real-life examples to back your arguments, but before you lay out your points, you should attack your opponents’ strongest arguments.
Use rhetorical questions to undermine your opponents’ arguments to make them look weaker and do not forget to relate to the audience.
Listen attentively when an opponent has the floor and formulate counter arguments as there are usually crossfire sections where contenders are allowed to question their opponents.
Lay off the big words. You might end up boring the audience while wanting to impress them. Use logic in your arguments.
Concluding Your Speech
To conclude, restate your strongest points and address the examples you used while supporting them. You need to do it briefly, for example, in case you mentioned a situation with statistics, date and place, number of victims and so on, now you will only need to specify “The happening on the … Island only proves the point being correct.” This is when you need to concentrate on the emotions of the audience in front of you. To do this, you can ask a rhetorical question (for example, “Each of us, spare a second to imagine what would happen if the situation repeats closer to our homes. Would you want to live in a place like this?..”)
Now, when you know all these tips, go and improve your orator skills or prepare for your speech and the following debates. Believe in yourself, be brave and everything will turn out amazing.
Hopefully, this article was a source of motivation and inspiration for you. Be willing to improve something and remember the words of one famous orator from ancient Greece, “The passions are the only orators which always persuade.”