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8 Power Tips to Win a School Debate

Debating in school can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite challenging. If you want to be successful in a debate, you need to know how to argue your points effectively and respond to your opponent's arguments.

In this blog post, we will discuss eight power tips that will help you win any school debate!

Why Are School Debates So Important For Students?

There is a reason, schools have extracurricular activities for their students. The students might consider them an opportunity to have fun but they are actually designed to help and prepare students for the life ahead.

School debates are important for several reasons. First, they provide an opportunity for students to learn how to research and form arguments on both sides of an issue. Second, debating helps students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills. Last but not the least, school debates can be a lot of fun for the students.

Do School Debates Help You When You Enter The Professional World?

Debates can be a great way to learn how to present your ideas in a clear and concise manner, as well as how to deal with criticism and opposing viewpoints.

In addition, debating can help you develop critical thinking skills and learn how to research and analyze complex topics.

All of these skills can be extremely useful in the professional world. Whether you're debating with clients, colleagues, or even your boss, being able to argue effectively can help you get ahead in your career.

So if you're looking for a way to prepare for the professional world, participating in school debates may be a great option for you.

Top 8 Tips to Win a School Debate

Now let's take a look at 8 power tips that will help you win any school debate:

Tip # 1: Do Your Research

Before you even step into the debate ring, you need to do your research. This means familiarizing yourself with the topic of the debate and gathering evidence to support your arguments. A debate is always between two sides who are well rehearsed and well informed about their arguments. You can't just wing it in a debate - if you want to win, you need to be prepared! Sometimes there is no right side in a debate.

There are two sides who both can offer strong evidence to support their argument. And if you don't research for the debate, you will have no evidence to prove your side of the argument. The other side will prove you wrong with strong evidence and win the debate.

It is imperative to be well informed about your case but it is also important to research on your opponent's side. This will give you a better understanding of their arguments and allow you to prepare counterarguments.

Tip # 2: Practice Your Points In front Of the Mirror

Once you have done your research and gathered evidence to support your arguments, it's time to start practicing. A good way to do this is by standing in front of the mirror and going over your points. This will help you get a feel for how you sound and what gestures or body language you are using. It's also important to practice thinking on your feet. This means being able to anticipate what your opponent is going to say and having a quick comeback ready. The better you can think on your feet, the more confident you will be in the debate.

Reading your speech in front of the mirror is a tried and tested way of practicing a debate. People have been doing it for decades. Even some politicians do it when they are heading out to make a speech so why can't students. Not only will it help to improve your speech but it will also make you more confident. When you are practicing in front of the mirror, try to wear the same clothes that you are going to wear at the debate. This will help you see how you will look at the podium while arguing your points in the debate.

Tip # 3: Don't Be Afraid To Use Emotion

Debates can sometimes get heated, but that doesn't mean you should shy away from using emotion in your argument. In fact, using emotion can be quite effective in a debate. When you are researching material for your debate, try to find something that will hit an emotional nerve with people; make it relatable to the audience.

However make sure that it is a valid point for your debate. This will shift the judge's focus towards your side of the argument. In addition to having such material in your debate, it is also important to keep your emotion in check. Make sure that you don't get carried away yourself - keep a cool head and focus on the argument.

Tip # 4: Be Concise and To the Point

If you have ever attended a debate then you know people tend to use some fancy words and try to put out as much points as they can in one go. That may sound like the person is knowledgeable about their case but that is not how you go about the art of debating. In a debate, you need to make your points quickly and effectively.

This means being concise and to the point. Don't try to cram too much information into your argument - just make a few key points that you can back up with evidence. If you ramble on and try to make too many points, your opponent will be able to pick apart your argument and find holes in it. So keep it simple and focus on a few key points that you can really drive home.

Tip # 5: Be Confident

A human being's personality is nothing without confident. We all need confidence in our lives. One of the most important things to remember in a debate is to be confident.

And when we say "be confident", we don't just mean to be generally confident but also be confident about your arguments. If you don't believe in your argument, your opponent will be able to sense it and they will use that to their advantage. So even if you are unsure about some of the points you are making, act like you are 100% confident in them. This will make it much harder for your opponent to discredit you.

In addition to being confident of your argument, you have to be confident overall. Try to practice your speech in front of your friends and family members to see how you do in front of other people. It will give you an opportunity to get a feel about the audience at an actual debate especially if you are participating in the debate for the first time.

Some students can be very confident about their research but once they head on to the stage and see hundreds of people in the audience, it completely shatters their confidence and that is when you lose the debate even before the debate actually starts. So try to cover up your nervousness with confidence.

Tip #6: Listen To Your Opponent's Arguments Very Carefully

In a debate, it's important to listen to your opponent's arguments very carefully. You need to be able to understand their argument so that you can rebut it effectively. Sometimes your opponent will make a valid point that you didn't consider before. If this happens, don't be afraid to concede the point and move on. The important thing is to listen to your opponent and be open while also moving forward with your argument.

Just because you hint at accepting one point from the opponent's argument does not mean that you have to accept all of their points and it definitely does not mean that you are giving up on your stance. You can still maintain your position while also admitting when the other side is right about something.

Tip # 7: Dress for the Occasion

Dress code in a school debate is more important than you would think. Even if you are asked to wear your school uniform, you still have to make sure that it is neat and clean and properly ironed. You don’t want to have ink stains on your shirt while you are there debating a serious topic.

Not only is that going to help you build confidence but it will also leave an impression on the audience and they will take you more seriously. By following the proper dress code you can naturally increase your credibility.

So make sure you dress for the occasion. Wear something that makes you look professional and confident. Avoid wearing anything that will make you look like you're not taking the debate seriously. Remember, how you look can have a big impact on how the judges perceive you and ultimately whether or not you win the debate.

Tip # 8: Stay Calm under Pressure

This is one aspect of the utmost importance in a debate even if it is just a school debate. There are going to be some very strong argument from the other side. And some of those arguments may make you feel agitated especially if you think the other side is bringing in strong evidences to support their arguments. However you have to be true to your case and defend it till the end.

And for that, it is very important that you stay calm under pressure. The same can be said about the other side. Some of your arguments can annoy the other side and even if they respond in an aggressive manner it is best to stay calm and sensible and respond in only a professional and ethical manner.

It's important to stay calm under pressure. If you get too nervous or flustered, it will be hard to think clearly and make good arguments. So take some deep breaths and try to relax before the debate starts. And if things start to get heated during the debate, just remember to stay calm and focused. The more composed you can be, the better your chances of winning the debate.

These are just a few tips to help you win a school debate. Remember, the key is to be prepared, confident, and calm under pressure. If you can do these things, you'll be well on your way to winning the debate.

How Can Parents Help Their Kids Prepare For a School Debate?

When it comes to helping their kids prepare for a school debate, there are a few things parents can do to give them a leg up. As parents have already gone through the school years, they might know a thing or two about school debates.

First, they can help them understand the structure and format of a debate, as well as its purpose. This will ensure that their child knows what to expect and can properly plan their arguments.

Additionally, if the students have the option to choose the topic themselves, the parents can help their child choose a topic that they're passionate about and provide them with resources to do research.

Finally, parents should encourage their child to practice their debating skills as often as possible, including getting an English tutor to brush up on their oral skills and vocabulary

Final Words

So, these were some of the most effective tips which will surely help you to win a school debate. Just remember that the key is to be prepared and confident. Also, try to stay calm under pressure. If you can do these things, then you will definitely be able to win any debate.

Whether you win or lose, don't forget to shake the opponents hand and congratulate them for a great debate. If you win the debate then be humble when you meet your opponent after the debate and tell them that they were really good and presented some very good arguments.

Also check: Debate Association Singapore if you have an interest in joining a debating competition.

To attend courses on debating, check out RedDot Academy.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.