How to Win a Debate

Debating is a learned skill that takes advantage of the natural strengths of the debater and hones and harnesses them, then aims them like a dagger toward a subject. Although the best debaters seem like they were born with their debating skills, like a professional athletes, they are highly proficient professionals trained to execute on the debate stage. The best use the services of professional debate coaches. And for debate coaches like Thomas M Rollins teaching debate skills is like instructing on the mental side of professional sports: you need a cool head, intelligence, being quick on your feet, and most of all being prepared.

Here is the preparation and skills required to win a debate.

Have a Deep Understanding of the Debate Topic

The essence of any debate is for you to convince the audience that you have a great command of the debate topic. This gets exhibited by your ability to think quickly on your feet and deliver information in a way that exudes assuredness. To be able to speak convincingly on your debate topic, you should have athorough understanding of the debate topic. There is no substitute for this fact. Being painstakingly prepared will position you to answer any questions that come at you no matter the angle.

Know all the Arguments about the Debate Topic

Being in control of a debate means you of course should know your own arguments about the debate topic, but you also need to know the arguments the other side will likely make as well. And part of your strategy needs to be preparation to debate and refute their arguments. This entails you understanding and appreciating the other side’s position and strong points. A third key component is the audience and what they may feel about the topic. Your arguments should take their points of view into account because where they sit might have a strong impact on how you frame things and the debate’s outcome.

Watch Your Body Language

There are famous cases of people losing debates because they simply looked defeated or their body language gave away that they knew their argument was weak. So take note that in addition to your words, the audience is also staring at you and observing how you deliver your argument. Do it confidently. Stand up straight, make eye contact when appropriate and speak clearly. Also when you are not speaking, people will look at you for reactions to your opponent’s comments. So practice staying calm no matter what is being said and never letting on when your opponent makes a great point.

Watch Your Emotions During the Debate

In the heat of the debate, things will likely ebb and flow, and there is also the potential for emotions flaring.Do not get caught up in the passion of the event, whether you are clearly winning or losing the debate. Strong emotions cause you to not think clearly and what can be a sure win can easily be turned into a loss because of them. Similarly, if you are losing badly, you getting emotional will only seal your fate. The best course of action is to maintain a calm and informative demeanor about your debate topic. No raising of your voice, gloating about great points you’ve made or getting into shouting matches with you opponents. Having a calm and consistent composure is probably the most understated quality of a great debater, but it has been the difference maker in many debates.

These debates tips provide guidelines for you to enter and win a debate. Take heed to them and you might find yourself on the winning side of your next debate.

Author: Robin Gupta