10 Tips and Tricks for Effective Debating

Meritnation|Oct 27th, 2015 05:37pm

debate tipsClass debates or inter-school debates can be so much fun. Students coming together and sharing some of the most stunning ideas for their arguments. Although you might be stating some great facts and have well researched content, how you deliver it to the audience and judges matters a lot. No matter how analytical and academic a debate is, your presentation will have a definite effect on your adjudicator, as well as your audience. In a tight match, your win may rest on the drama of your performance. Debating can help you develop many abilities, like reasoning, research and speaking skills. With these debating tips you can stay ahead in the game:

1. Read The Topic Carefully: This tip might sound obvious but it is very important- without it, it’s possible to miss out on major points or even get the wrong idea of what the motion actually means. This does not mean that you shouldn’t do your research. Read everything so that you can understand the core arguments for both For and Against the motion.

2. Do Your Research, Read The News And Understand It: Take the bull by its horn. Start early and read as much as you can find. Do not just stick to your side of the argument though. Read your opposition’s articles and try and anticipate what they will attack you with. If you are already prepared for some responses, then you won’t be wrong-footed as easily. Further reading is great too, read around the subject but be prepared to justify your points and cite your references for statistics.

3. Be Mindful Of Your Actions: Be mindful of your composure, avoid slouching or leaning. Pay attention to non-verbal reactions to your opponent’s statement ‒ an eye roll or pursed lips could come across as rude or antagonistic. And be aware that even when you are not speaking, you are still being watched!

4. Hold Your Composure: Give the audience the opportunity to hear your thoughts and comprehend your message. Your written material might be sufficient but it’ll be useless if you don’t express it in the correct manner. You will earn more respect for being calm and able to express your thoughts in a composed manner.

5. Be Bold And Don’t Back Down: The audience will try to interpret a debate too narrowly. The debates are carefully selected so that there are good arguments to be made on either side, narrowing the debate could show a lack of understanding or confidence, so grasp the debate fully and be bold in what you say. Some of us might find ourselves arguing for motions with which we disagree. In realising this, seek to compromise with their position in order to reach a more balanced, ‘neutral’ sentiment.

6. Use Statistical Findings To Support Your Argument: Use them to support your points but beware! It is very easy to find statistics from your perspective. Be prepared to back them up with multiple sources and always cite your references and sources. It is very easy to become over reliant on them, so don’t depend on them.

7. Judges Question – Do Not Panic: Stand your ground and fight hard on points. If they ask tough questions, take a little bit of time to consider your final answer to their question. It is very easy to get wrong footed and jump into something too quickly and end up saying things you later regret. Take your time and address each question without rushing.

8. Take A Principle Stand On Your Debate: The most important thing is that you are confident about the argument you’re giving. This can be hard, especially if you’re asked to argue a side you don’t agree with. But don’t let it show! If you can look confident by speaking loudly and clearly, making eye contact, standing straight and challenging your opponent’s points, before long you’ll have convinced everyone – including yourself.

9. Speak Slowly: Try and stay calm and speak slowly. Whilst the time limit is fairly tight, it is better to have a calm and mannered presentation than a rushed one which tries to cram too much in. Place your strongest arguments first to get them into the debate early, don’t leave key arguments until later as you may not get the chance to use them.

10. Wary Off Audience Question Round And Enjoy Yourself: Do not underestimate this section. This lasts a long time when you are under fire from all angles but this is a very important part of the debate. And most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun during the competition.


Important Resources

> 5 Common Exam Mistakes Students Make


> How to draw good diagrams and score better


> The New Age Student’s Guide To Improving Vocabulary


> 10 Tips to Study Smart and Save Time


> Want to Remember EVERYTHING that you Study? Know How the Brain Works!


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Add Comment Total Comments (5)

  • 1. Triveni Bondre  |  May 10th, 2016 at 10:01 am

    very very much helpful tips .

  • 2. Aashika  |  October 29th, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    nice..thanks merit

  • 3. preet  |  October 29th, 2015 at 6:31 pm


  • 4. Vikalp  |  October 29th, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Really so much useful and interesting tips..

  • 5. Prince  |  October 28th, 2015 at 4:18 am

    wow quite very much interesting….


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