Tips to win Debate Competitions at School

Debate competition makes students anxious because even if they are confident about their performance, there can be some things which may lower down their confidence and can affect their performance at debate session. So, here we discuss 10 effective tips for students to help them win any debate competition.

Created On: Oct 25, 2017 11:41 IST
Tips to win a debate
Tips to win a debate

Debates sessions are part of every high school years. It prepares students to use their interpersonal skills and also it is an interesting way for students to share knowledge. Generally, Debate competitions are conducted at school and inter-school level. This is a great opportunity for students to show their talent if they are interested in debating. However, students who participate for first time, find difficulty in preparing for the competition and wonder how to win a debate?. Therefore, to prepare well, students can check here tips to win a debate competition –

Effective ways to win a debate Competition

1. Be confident and well Prepared– Student should prepare well for ‘Debate Topic’ they have been assigned. Do research on the topic, write notes for important points, dress for the occasion (if competition is organised outside the school), memorise important topics, do counter preparation, and don’t take the stress. If you feel nervousness, then take a mock debate with your friends so that you can overcome the anxiety.

2. Introduction – Introducing you to the audience is the first step when starting a debate. Therefore, the introduction should be made in a clear and firm voice so that audience can hear you and can know about the topic of debate. If you are the first one to start the debate, then take this opportunity to the best and leave your best impression on the audience with a striking introduction.

3. Know your audience – You should know that the audience includes a panel of judges, school students, and participating students as well as other teachers. Therefore, you need to maintain your posture, gestures and interaction with your audience.

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4. Respect and Self Control– While you are doing a debate, you will be required to discuss in favour or against the topic, so you need to maintain that you are part of a formal discussion. You must not take anything personally. Just be calm and put forth your points about the debate. Don’t shout or become aggressive when your opponent tries to contradict with your view about the topic. If you do not maintain your calm and firmness in front of an audience then you may lose scores from the judges.

5. Interactive Conversation – To be able to gain audiences’ perspective you need to make an interactive debate session which you can do with light conversations like including humour in presenting the facts and data and engaging the audience. If the debate becomes boring then audience lose the track of your points and they cannot decide the winner.

6. Don’t try to win – Debate is a formal discussion; the winner of the debate is decided by how they carry out the session. So, if you aim to win a debate by including illogical details for your support then you would not be able to win the debate competition. Frame your views about the debate topic such that even if you are part of ‘Against ‘group to the topic, your views are in positive light to the audience.

7. Facts and Theory – Use facts and figures during your debate session, as this can help you seek the attention of the judges as well as the audience. Also, the data should be authentic so that your opponent can not raise doubts about it. Using theories and numbers can help your win brownie points.

8. Praise your opponents – You need to pay attention to your opponent’s view and theories during the debate. Moreover, whenever they make a good and valid point during the debate then, you should be affirmative about it and should agree with them. Agreeing to their valid points can be affirmative of your view too and judges will appreciate that you have knowledge of the topic.

9. Admitting not knowing – If you come to a point that you are not aware of then you should admit it in a proper way rather than arguing about it. If your opponent has given any information that you have little knowledge about then you admit it that you know little about it in this regard and you need to research more on it and then you can proceed.

10. Concluding the debate – A debate session is incomplete without conclusion. So take this opportunity for a better explanation of your side and views for the topic and always leave something for the audience and judges to discuss.  When you leave something for the audience to think about then, your views about the topic leaves an impact which can help you gain points.

For example, if you are debating about Mobile phones in schools; and you are on the topic; then, you can question the audience by asking them - If mobile phones cannot be allowed then how can they be assured of their children’s safety? You can say that students are not even safe in schools, then if any harmful situation arises how their children are going to seek their help without cell phones? This will make audience brainstorm about your topic and views.

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