Debating is incredibly valuable

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Reasoning, research, and even public speaking skills are just some of the positives behind learning how to be a great debater. From planning our argument (even if we don’t agree with it) to choosing our words wisely, debating will help us to take on whatever life chooses to throw at us.   

Debating is by no means the same as entering into a full-on argument. In fact, we will need to develop a succinct, effective argument, which will gain us support and kudos, rather than blindly attacking our opponent.

History’s great debaters have helped shape the world we live in and resolve many of society’s issues. That might be the reason why elimination and final round debates are perennial during our university’s foundation anniversary celebration.

As an audience in a debate competition, we should bear in our mind that debating, instead of arguing, can help us in defusing a rapidly escalating situation. Rather than raising our voice when we are on the platform, we should take a step back and choose our words wisely with calmness and maintaining eye contact just like what the three speakers in each college do.

For a debater, knowledge is power. No matter how eloquent or passionate a speech may be, it will ultimately be toothless without key information and evidence to support the argumentation. Thus, debaters will have to be well-read and well-researched if they are to improve in the debating arena. Diligent research will provide not only the evidence for cases but also generate the argumentation which can be used in any debates.

However, assigned speakers will always be speakers and designated researchers will always be researchers in the entire competition. Researchers do not have the power to speak and give their arguments about the resolution because it can probably deduct some vital points in your score and make the audience to question your actions.

That’s why we have speakers because they are the ones who will be speaking and try to think outside of the box. Researchers’ job is to guide the speakers and their team when challenging their opponents and be ready to identify any loopholes in their counter-argument.

In addition, the research team is obliged to research factual information in a more reliable site and references so that when the speakers will rebut and try to defend their side on their resolution does not feel any lack of confidence. The advent of the internet makes this an easy task, since the speakers may use mailing lists, blogs or online document hosting sites to share their findings.

Of course, we do not want to make the judges, specifically if the judges are legal practitioners or lawyers, to correct us during the competition.

Speaking in a powerful manner or quite loudly is sometimes a necessity, but it is by no means necessary to shout through every debate regardless of context.  There is absolutely no need to speak louder than the volume at which everyone in the venue can comfortably hear you.  Shouting does not win debates yet speaking too quietly is clearly disastrous since no one will be able to hear from you.

We should consider retaining an element of poise and composure – addressing the issue rather than getting carried away emotionally. In fact, managing our emotions will not only stand us in good stead while debating. It is no easy skill to manage but will gain us respect in every walk of life.

A good debater will remain focused and won’t stray from the issue they are discussing. Just like any successful orator, remember who it is that you want to keep on your side, and present a personable argument – you will appear instantly much more amenable and likable.

Knowing how to lose graciously and accept your failings are important skills, both in debating and during everyday life. This will also help resolve any conflicts before they have a chance to begin. So, accept any criticism and issues that come your way especially in the debating hours. It will make you a much more polished and proficient speaker – and human being – in the long term.

Honestly ignorant people are a reality of this world, but as warriors of life, we should at least try to participate in debates than belief on what we do without challenging ourselves.

In the end, aside from awarding a Champion Team, the invited judges also awarded the Best Speaker for the entire debate competition. Both awardees utilize their insight to think of the potential arguments they might make and then plan for their counter-arguments.

All in all, structured arguments such as a debate competition is an excellent way of improving speaking skills and is particularly helpful in providing experience in developing a convincing argument. Those of you who are forced to argue against your natural point of view realize that arguments, like coins, always have at least two sides.

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