Just finished conducting a series of Debating Skills training yesterday. All of us truly enjoyed the flair display of arguments and intellectual stimulation. I am deeply committed to helping the students gain debating skills as a powerful and advantageous success skill in their lives.
Throughout the few sessions, I highlighted the importance of strategies when competing in debating contests. Here are 3 of the proven strategies that can be used to win debates:
1) Arrange your strongest arguments and rank the rest of points. If you argue on your strongest point first, you have the advantage of first strike and surprise. You can catch the opponents off guard as they scramble to defend your heavy blow, weakened after that to recover.
Hence, the impact and pacing of argument points goes like this: BOOOM, bom, bom, bom.
If you place on your strongest point last, you can put the icing on the cake. This can also win the audience and judges over as you add another strong nail on the coffin.
Imagine the impact and pacing of argument points goes like this: bom, bom, bom, BOOOM!
When do you use this even more powerfully? You must first read the flow of the debate well.
If you can read your opponents and situation well. You might even consider a spread of arguments, placing the first two strongest arguments at the beginning and at the end of your turn.
It creates an impact of this manner: BOOM! bom bom BOOM!
2) Identify the gaps in your opponent’s argument and chase after them. Be quick to seize the inconsistencies and lack of coordination of the opponent’s team. Focus your questions to expose the gaps. Make the other team scramble to regroup themselves under time pressure. Let them spend the very limited time answering the less essential gaps instead of addressing the main issue.
These gaps from your opponents may come in the form of inconsistent definition and stand on the motion, exceeding the boundary and scope of argument, points presented contradict previous team debater, a wavering of confidence level, not being able to answer rebuttals fully, statistical doubts and validity, and others.
Your team, on the other hand, must commit to work selflessly as a unit. Thinking in like mindedness and flawless in coordination. In short, you must close up all the possible gaps in your team and arguments.
Remember, in a debating contest, teamwork is utmost importance.
3) Mark the weakest debater and focus your attention onto that person. Simply put, hit where the weakest link is and let the rest crack as a result.
When you can note and identify the obvious weakest debater on your opponent’s side, gear your rebuttals and question that person. The confidence will be shaken if not doubted.
Even if a stronger debater takes to the answer, he or she will not have the full advantage of understanding the scope of the weakest debater. This can further expose the gaps of the opponent’s argument. Use this new gap to the maximum.
Let’s face it. Be it you are the strongest or the weakest debater, you will be marked. Hence it is every team debater’s duty to equip himself or herself with the strongest character along with best debating and presentation skills possible.
If you know how to make use of all these 3 strategies together, you have a significantly high chance of winning this round of debates beautifully.
Debating can be exciting, enlightening and enriching. Excel well in it!