Debate An Intellectual sport

Mohammad Asadullah

LearnDebating is an aesthetic art of knowledge aiming at enriching analytical, critical and reasoning   power of human brain. If we make a flash back we see from Sophist of Greek to the present world, this aesthetic art of knowledge is prevalent. It helps us to be innovative, whiz kid, creative, tolarent courageous and most importantly worshiper of truth that leads you to be good human being. It also helps us to understand difficult topics from different dimensions. Debating is a sport of mind & voice. You compete using your brain & mouth. You have a chance to win and even when you do not win, you learn. Unlike some sports where you need to be fast, tall and energetic physically but Debating is for everyone. You do not have to be bookworm or test-smart to be a good debater. If you have desire, determination & patience Debate is for you. Debating creates the skills you need for success. In job market we see that employers are looking for students with oral commutation & presentation skills. Yes through debating you can achieve these skills & change the whole paradigm of your life. Obviously it will add a new flavour in your career. Now let’s have a look what are the distinctive features of a good debater.
The most important things you should care
Be very relaxed when you are speaking. Talk to the audience with confidence. Try to persuade the audience with arguments & examples
Organize your speech into paragraph so that the audience can understand & remember your points very distinctively.
Start your speech with a rebuttal which supports your case most. Better to dispel concerns about your case early before building your case
Practice in front of the mirror and take care of your gesture, posture, eye contuct,body language & facial expression
Write only points on the script. More writings will make more problems on the way of your smooth & spontaneous speech
Always relate what you are saying back to the topic & explain its relevanc.Remember to make sure that whatever you say helps you to prove your case effective.
Use very easy & eye catching examples to support your argument. It helps the adjudicators to come to a decision quickly.
Do not imitate American or British accent rather follow your own nature and avoid gross mistakes in case of pronunciation
Be aware of the world around you. Try to collect as much information as you can. Create a personal library &   archive for enriching your knowledge.

Few things you should avoid

Telling your name and addressing the adjudicators with many adjectives. Salutation should be short but exact
You should try to avoid using personal examples.
Using long quotes. Quotes do not prove anything except your memorizing power
You should not care your opposition at the time of your Debate because it is their job not be convenced.You should always be talking to the audience and trying to convince them.
Do not leave the adjudicators & the audience confused about the topic. Make it very clear where the clash of debate .Be is very specific to hit your opponent.
Taking many points for rebuttal would certainly makes your speech very ambiguous. Take few points & then rebut it very strongly
Adjudicators mark on
a) Matter
b) Method
c) Manner

In all forms of debating, adjudicators mark on your matter, method & manner.

Matter: Matter, like all other things mixed of number of factors. Matter consists of all facts, arguments and examples in a speech plus rebuttal. It is important to remember that the rebuttal does count towards matter as it places an onus on all speakers a part from the first speaker of the debate to engage in analysis of the opposition’s arguments. This is what separates debating from public speaking.
Matter is judged within the parameters of logic & relevance. This requires each speaker to keep what they within the context of the debate. Thus to score well, it is necessary to build on simple concepts on a step basis, otherwise you will lose cohesion, audience comprehension and vital marks. Finally with examples, keep them relevant and use then to support matter .Its like a proof of what you are talking about.

Method: In a word method is a balance. A balance between positive matter & rebuttal, a balance between arguments & examples, and a balance in time allocation in positive matter, rebuttal & summary.
Adjudicators judge method on the structure of a speech, the overall structure of the team and the way each speaker responds to the dynamics of the debate. Both structure of the individual and team come under balance as mentioned above.

Manner: Manner is about delivering a speech in a way that appears natural and comfortable in the situation. Improving manner is difficult, but doing as many debates as possible will help. Adjudicators comments of manner are often taken the hardest as they relate to the way you speak, but if understand that they are trying to be constructive and really want to help you .So long as you debate regularly you will improve. Everyone has a bad debates and it seems hard to win. All it requires to be a successful debater is your own perseverance.

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