One of the hardest class assignments we get is to prepare for a debate competition. It is comparable to writing an academic argument, only you will also have to speak in front of an audience. Debating calls for thorough knowledge of the subject as well as a fast intellect, critical analysis, and eloquence. Although it can be challenging to be a competent debater, there are techniques to improve your debate skills. In this article, we offer recommendations that will enable you to successfully get ready for any debate competition and ultimately for the Istanbul International Model United Nations, Turkey.
Following are the tips
Be familiar with your topic
The moderator chooses the subject for each debate. A debate always has two sides: the positive viewpoint and the opposing position. To be able to debate effectively, regardless of the stance that has been allocated for you, you ought to understand a lot about the subject. Keep in mind that information is the cornerstone of effective debating. It would be like to write a dissertation without completing any study to attend a discussion with no prior knowledge of the subject. Most frequently, the subject will be either a recent problem that has to be solved or a long-standing contentious issue. After receiving the topic, have a discussion with your team about all the knowledge you have about it.
Ace your argumentative skills before jumping in
When you have sufficient knowledge about the subject, you may start putting your arguments together. The arguments you provide to support your position are your points of contention. It is crucial to jot down every argument you can think of because you are still in the early phases of debate preparation. Along with outlining each of your arguments, you can also collaborate with your peers to come up with new arguments. This will aid in avoiding repetition and assisting in the synthesis of any pertinent points. Due to debate rules, you most likely won't utilise every one of these arguments, but knowing them all nonetheless gives you the advantage of being able to use any of those if required.
You must assess the quality of your arguments after becoming familiar with them. Be aware that different arguments have different strengths and applications. Selecting only the most crucial reasons is necessary because you won't be able to utilize each of them. Therefore, evaluating arguments is helpful since it enables you to pinpoint the assertions that will act as the focal points of your dispute. Start by examining the available data. Facts, scientific evidence, and study findings serve as the foundation for the strongest arguments. A good technique to assess the strength of the argument is to consider the context of the evidence.
Prepare your rebuttals
You should be able to prepare refutations if you want to debate effectively. As was already mentioned, developing counterarguments to challenge your opponents' claims is a successful method. However, a skilled debater is aware that their adversaries will also prepare their own counterarguments. As a result, you must prepare your arguments in advance of your opponents' attacks. Prepare excellent responses to the potential counterarguments that the opposition may use to refute your position. You could lose points if you don't dispute your opponents' arguments.
Set up your cue cards
You need to be familiar with your subject at this time and get ready to make your supporting arguments. It is best to learn these by heart, although memorising them can be challenging. Prepare cue cards to address this issue. Prepare your cue cards and use them as a guide while making your claims. Your cue cards will act as a guide so that you don't forget anything or get off subject, much as how cue cards are used in presentations. But don't forget to write clearly; you don't want to spend time straining your eyes to read the cards because they're so faintly printed.
Challenge yourself with time limits
Observing the time restriction is among the most crucial norms of debate. Each participant has a chance to present their points of view and address their critics. Although the amount of time given to debaters varies, it is frequently only a few minutes. For instance, only 4 to 5 minutes are offered by some debating organisations. You must use your time properly because you only have a short amount of time to make your arguments. Learn to speak clearly and concisely when debating. Use concise language to avoid using too many words. You must select only the strongest arguments because of the time constraint.
Don't forget to rehearse it all
Although each debater has their own opportunity to speak, debates are really teams that work together. A team can only be as strong as its most vulnerable member, as the proverb goes. You should motivate one another to flourish in argument. Together, study debate tips and put them into practise. Don't be shy about giving each other feedback. Over time, you will both get stronger together if you can identify each other's areas of weakness. Become proficient in debate organisation for optimal effectiveness. Then plan a discussion among your teammates. For instance, one side is chosen by half the squad, and the other side is chosen by the other half. Then you can later change sides. This strategy will acquaint you all with both points of view.
You will all become familiar with either sides of the argument thanks to these strategies. This will also provide you practise defending your viewpoint when the opposing side challenges your claims. These debating strategies will strengthen your performance during the debate. Keep in mind that your chances of winning a discussion increase as you become more knowledgeable about all sides of the topic.