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This guest post has been kindly contributed by my dearest friend, Miss Rohini Singh, who is one of the best debaters and coaches I know. […]
This is a special section for our wonderful teachers and managers who are in charge of debate clubs and societies in institutes of education. Debating as an activity within the school will not be possible without their presence. Here are a few things that teachers should do to attain debating excellence with their schools.
For a Debater, knowledge is power. No matter how eloquent or passionate a speech may be, it will ultimately be toothless with key information and evidence to support the argumentation. Thus, debaters will have to be well-read and well-researched if they are to improve. Diligent research will provide not only the evidence for cases but also generate the argumentation which could be used in debates.
There are three classes of motions which a debater may encounter over at various debate tournaments, namely Loose-Link, Tight-Link and Straight Link. Each class signals how much freedom the Proposition teams will have in their definitions.
Even with the most dynamic of speakers and the most interesting of motions, the energy levels in a debate could still be quite low if the participants merely delivered their speeches and sat back down. Thus, debate formats usually incorporate a more interactive element in order to liven up the event
For the World Schools Debating format, this purpose is served by the use of the “Point of Information” (POI).
Unless gifted with a perfect, photographic memory, speakers will need to use a notebook or palm cards to write down the components of the speeches to be delivered. The following considerations could be applied when deciding on whether notebooks or palm cards should be used in a debate..
Debaters are no doubt aware of the physical aspects of debate (listening and speaking) as well as its mental aspects (thinking of arguments and rebuttals). They often neglect an equally important dimension of debate: the psychological factor. Every speaker should therefore look to put themselves in the best psychological position and the following steps could be of help.
The best teams in the WSDC are made up of Debaters who understand the roles and responsibilities as well as the complexities associated with each speaker position. With this understanding, the speakers can appreciate how the roles complement each other and put the team in the best position to win.
Within the World School Debating format, teams may be given months to prepare for a topic or as little as one hour prior to the debate. The latter can prove to be a challenge for debaters and many frequently find that 60 minutes is woefully inadequate when trying to develop a cohesive team stance, a range of arguments addressing the motion, anticipation of the opponent’s arguments, a range of examples to be applied, writing the arguments and practicing their speeches. Debaters may wish to consider the following approach when entering a short preparation round…