You can win an argument without raising your voice and in debates telling the truth should be the aim and NOT victory.
While most of us agree that debate is fun, the process sometimes can be nerve-wracking, particularly for those who have a fear of public speaking. Fortunately, as with other things in life, practice makes us perfect. People who are debating can enhance their argumentation and delivery skills by adhering to a few simple tips.
One of the most important tips when it comes to debating is to focus on attacking ideas rather than people. Attacking an opponent on a personal level only weakens the argument. Instead, debaters should look for flaws in their opponent’s reasoning and call the logic into question rather than the person.
Students should avoid the use of words like “always,” “never,” “often” or “generally” because they make their arguments more vulnerable to attack from opponents.
If they believe that their opponent is wrong about something, they should point it out in a tactful manner. For instance, instead of simply saying that an opponent is wrong, students should state that their opponent’s idea is mistaken and then back that up with support for why the idea is flawed.
Students should not disagree with truths that are obvious or try to exaggerate evidence to suit their case. While it is acceptable to present an opinion, students should be careful to acknowledge that it is just an opinion rather than trying to present that opinion as a fact.
Students should use appropriate tone of voice, maintain their composure throughout the debate and avoid bickering. If students remain focused on supporting their ideas and refuting the ideas of their opponents, they are likely to succeed.
Here are few more tips on the art of debate
Mental rehearsal and visualization can calm your nerves and boost performance
Don’t drift –
Stay in the topic you are debating, don’t move away and drift away to another topic(s)
The art of debate also lays on your listening skills, so listen carefully what others are saying too
Speak clearly –
Be very clear in what you want to express, be concise and clear
Be confident –
Be confident right from your body language to the voice clarity
Use non-verbal cues –
Smile, move your hands and legs a bit, these gestures will point towards a strong non-verbal cue
Clear your position –
Make your position very clear to the audience at the beginning, so they know what to expect from you while you are speaking
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Published by K Vijay Venkat
Vijay Venkat is a father, a trainer, and a lover of books. When he’s finished playing video games with his kid, you’ll likely find Venkat sharing his personal training and marketing anecdotes with students and acquaintances.
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