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.
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.
Before the start of each training session, each debater should decide on a particular area to focus on and pay it particular attention. For instance, a debater could choose to pay more attention to controlling hand gestures, giving better points of information or rebutting stronger. This provides a direction and challenge for the training session. This should not, of course, mean that the other aspects of training should be neglected or de-prioritized!
There is more to a debate speech than the mere delivery of arguments and rebuttals. No doubt these two elements will form the backbone of speech. However, the following elements are crucial in making a speech interesting, memorable and easy to follow for the judges. When the judges have an easy time following a debater’s speech, they will always be more inclined to give more points in return for making their jobs easier.
With the exception of a few debate formats such as Lincoln Douglas debating in the US, debating is a team event. This is especially true for the World Schools Debating format, with three speakers per team taking the floor.