Debating, like all other hobbies, is no short of being called an art for those who take it seriously.
People are fascinated by it, motivated by it and it offers a learning and oratory curve like no other activity.
So, here’s my personal experience as a debater articulated solely for those who wish to become future debaters and exhibit their skills on a podium.
Economy Decoded brings you the basic tips on how to be good at debating if you’re a fresher in this field :
1. Identify your playground :
Debaters first need to identify themselves and identify what sort of debating genre suits them the best.
Some are built for procedural debating competitions such as MUNs and parliamentary debates whereas some are comfortable in non-procedural debates such as conventional debates, turncoat debates, group discussions and extempore conventional/turncoat debates.
Once you figure out what genre you’re comfortable with, only then proceed to exploring it and being an expert in it. To figure it out, participate in some competitions and check your game.
Don’t be shy. You’re here to learn. Everybody has a particular skill set which which exhibits itself on taking a risk.
2. Learn the Basic Techniques :
Once you’re familiar with your genre, learn the basic techniques of it. Time management, presentation, flow of speech, research, etc. Basically, the whole 9 yards on the full experience of your preferred debating style.
3. Focus on Your Research :
The key part for any debate is your research, be it procedural or non procedural.
And to master that, DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA.
Stay updated with the current affairs, read the newspaper, check websites like Reuters and always be aware of the news to increase your knowledge and awareness. For vague and abstract topics, use metaphors and similes and dig deep in the technical aspects of English language.
4. Practice Regularly on Different Topics :
The key to expertise is practice. Same goes for being an expert in debating.
Practice alone or with a friend, in front of a mirror or when you’re in a group but practice debating on different and varied topics such as politics, social issues, global affairs, etc.
5. Learn, Learn and Keep Learning :
Your knowledge shouldn’t be tactical.
Don’t learn for the sake of debating since targeted learning only limits your scope and progress in other aspects.
Be diverse, be a jack of all trades.
A debater just doesn’t stick to one topic of expertise. He is always adaptable according to the situation.
More importantly, use your knowledge to use better examples and quote incidents related to your debate to justify an argument.
6. Use Spontaneity, Facts, Humor and Don’t be Loud While Debating :
My personal experience says that every single debater who is all hype with his theatrics and loud persona falls flat on his face, no matter how good an orator he is.
Nobody likes a Loudy McLoud as an opponent, solely because of their obnoxious style.
One shall always be mellow yet authoritative, humorous but not profane, subtle yet hard hitting and spontaneous but not lost in translation.
Keep a check on your thoughts, analyse the topic carefully if it is an extempore with a calm mind and engage in a little bit of humor to make your debate vibrant.
Next up, always use facts and examples to prove a point rather than being loud. That gives you clarity and helps you gain perspective in a more descriptive manner.
7. Bond with Your Audience to Bond with Yourself :
A successful debater never treats his audience as his audience, he treats them as a part of the debate.
Indulge in light banter and questionnaire with your audience and treat your debate like a discussion.
When it comes to procedural debating, always maintain eye contact with your adjudicators and executive board members and instead of trying to please them, be factual and analytical to justify your stand.
For non procedural debating, include your audience in your debate and gather their attention with facts and light humor rather than moronic ranting.
All this inculcated over a period of time with regular practice and exposure to competitions should definitely help all aspiring debaters.
Good luck and happy debating!
Stay raw. Stay argumentative.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.