Debate Team: Tips and Resources

Debating does not only happen during presidential elections. Throughout the year, middle school, high school and college debate teams are honing their arguments and presenting them at local, state and national competitions. Just as presidential candidates spend days honing their arguments, members of debate teams spend hours upon hours building their debating skills. In addition to researching their arguments and finding facts and figures to back up their points, debate team members much master the art of persuasive and public speaking in order to get their point across. The best debate teams know how to take a cockamamie argument and make it sound entirely logical.

Basic Debating Skills

In a competitive debate, determining your main point is only a small part of your preparation. You must learn how to present your point in the most flattering light, respond to your opponents’ arguments and work as a team to present a convincing argument. This requires knowing the general debating process and understanding the basics of persuasive language and public speaking.

Starting a Debate Team

Starting a debate team takes a lot of work and getting students to join the team is often the hardest part. To make the debate team the club all students want to join, you must get across how much fun debating can be and all of the benefits it provides.

Experiencing Success

Being part of a debate team is a lot more rewarding when students actually win debates. In order to win a debate, students must know how to present their arguments in ways that get the attention of the judges and make their opponents’ arguments seem weak. Knowing how to read the judges and what to expect at a debate tournament can help make that happen.



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