debating dos and donts

Author: ridho-hirzan-saputra

Post on 09-Oct-2015




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  • an argument with rules two teams present a resolution (sometimes called a proposition) or topic that they will debateTimed argumentsOne team is for the resolution (PRO or affirmative) and the other team is (AGAINST or negative)a judge decides at the end of the debate who is the winner (based on point system)

  • Order of Speaking

    Very important

    Cannot be changed

    See handout

  • The 3 major parts of a debate




  • 1. CONSTRUCTIVE SPEECHBegins with BIRT (Be it resolved that)States 3 or 4 supporting points firstThen elaborates on each onePlan your strategy (for e.g., go from strongest to weakest)Recap at the end

  • 2. CROSS-EXAMINATIONMost difficult partThinking on your feetQuestion the validity of your opponents' constructive speech by source, date, relevanceShow their weakest pointsQuestion them aggressivelyStart with general questions then get really specificUndermine the evidence

  • 3. REBUTTALDesigned to argue the case madeIt's your time to point out the inconsistences, absurdities, and illogical argurments of your opponents.Provides the opportunity for speakers to critique their opponents' argumentsAbsolutely no new evidence may be presented during this timeIt's time to do some final damage here

  • The first speaker in a debate must make sure that the resolution is clearly stated and defined.

  • What is the Resolution?The topic of the debateThe point on which both parties have agreed to debateAlways stated in the positive Begins with the phrase (BIRT): Be it resolved that

  • Some examples:Be it resolved that Canada is a better place to live than the U.S.A.NOT Be it resolved that Canada is not a better place to live than the U.S.A.

  • And Be it resolved that all public schools in Canada should make uniforms mandatory for all students.NOT

    Be it resolved that all public schools should not make uniforms mandatory for all students.

  • Debating Tips and StrategiesThere are many ways to structure a debate

    In this class, you will follow the handouts carefully and the time allotments will not

  • DONT side track your opponents with irrelevant points, stay on topic.DONT attack your opponents.DO stick to your planned, researched arguments.

  • TIPS

    Cue cards can help a debater to stay focused, but DONT read from them, use them as a guide.Speak to the audience or moderator, not the teacher.

  • DO thoroughly research your topic and position, the best start to squashing a rebuttal is a well researched, well designed presentation.DONT simply state facts:This is the path to being a dull speakerNot stating sources or not backing up statements can lead to heavy rebuttal from your opponents

  • DO use humor and / or anecdotes in your speaking:Using examples helps illustrate your position, and uses an argument of precedenceMake sure your information is appropriate


  • DO be aware of time constraints, if there are any.Practice your initial speech so you will be on top of the situation.Know what it feels like to speak for the allotted length of time, speaking too much or not enough weakens your position.

  • DONT use inappropriate language or gestures:

    People will ignore your information if not presented in an appropriate manner.DONT try to juggle too many points at once. State your ideas in a logical order.TIP: the more you practice and plan your speaking, the less nervous you will be.

  • Any argument that you do not address in a rebuttal will be left in the memory of others as your opponents stated it.

    Likewise, any rebuttal from your opponents that you do not address will also be left in the minds of your audience / judges.

  • DO be aware of what your partner(s) plans are.DONT work alone and risk being redundant, make the most of your teams time.

  • DO recycle information in your closing speech.Remember:The closing speaker(s) should sum up all relevant arguments and rebuttals without introducing any new information.

  • Follow these tips and suggestions, and everything will come together for a successful debate!!!

  • *Make sure you speak clearly: the general rule for public speaking is to speak half as fast and twice as loud as you usually would*>There are as many different styles and forms of debates as there are debtaes

    **Make sure you are presenting an informed position, being proven wrong is damaging and embarrassing, things everyone wants to avoid

    Be an exciting speaker, be animated, monotone or dry speaking will bore your audience, not win them over

    Debating is equal parts Substance and Presentation*MAKE SURE you do not insult or offend with your anecdotes / jokes, they can be very powerful tools when used properly**Knowing and being ready for time constraints will make you appear better organized for your debate, it will also make you less nervous about speaking publicly**In order to be the most effective, you need to make strong, solid points about your topic, but you also need to take apart your opponents points*Having a strategy worked out for your side ahead of time will definitely help you win your debate by being unified and prepared enough to stay collected***