Be it in a debate competition or otherwise, we humans love to debate and put forth our opinions. Some succeed in convincing others about their opinions, some fail. This is because it is never easy to change people’s opinions. If you want to convince people, you must master the debating skills.
Schools and colleges organise debate competitions to improve their students’ analytical and communication skills. Furthermore, debating helps students develop confidence, increase knowledge on various issues, help in organising and structuring thoughts, and fosters critical thinking.
If you love debating and are trying to up your debating skills, you must continue reading in order to become a master in debating.
Here are 5 tips you must adopt to up your debating skills:
1. Do A Thorough Research
Debating activity is all about talking about an issue, putting across opinions and reaching an agreeable conclusion. For this to happen, all participants must undertake deep and thorough research of the chosen topic for the debate. You must know every little detail of the issue as you may never know what point gets thrown at you by your opponent. You must be prepared to defend. This is why thorough research is a must. Once you study your topic in and out, you will find it very easy to not just raise questions but also be prepared to answer the question asked.
2. Study Both Sides Of The Issue
During a debate, each team is expected to speak for and in support of a particular aspect of the issue/topic. This means you will be talking in support as well against specific things about the issue. Hence, you must study both sides of the issue. When you study both sides you not just gather material about your part of the topic, but also information about your opponent’s part. This puts you on the above edge of your opponent, as you are prepared with the knowledge of both sides.
3. Watch As Many Debates As Possible
This is the best way to understand debates. Sure Indian political debates do get rough on the news channels, but there are many other crucial takeaways that may help you drastically improve your debating skills. While watching a particular debate, one must focus on the fact that the debaters hold immense knowledge about what they speak. This shows the thorough study they do before presenting themselves. You must also pay attention to key facts like body language, the tone they use, facial expression, confidence levels, the way they put forth their opinion, etc. Watching debates can help you understand how you must go about making improvements in yourself.
4. Develop Your Listening Skills
You must develop strong listening skills in order to be able to trap your opponent in a difficult situation. It is only when you listen carefully to what your opponent says, will you be able to question them and counter argue. Without the skill of listening effectively, you will be lost. Then even if you are ready with all your research, you still won’t be able to question your opponent. The best way to develop listening skills is to listen carefully and patiently to what people around you tell you, or listening to speeches and also understanding what is being said.
5. Stand In Front Of The Mirror And Keep Practicing
Practice indeed makes a man perfect. You will have to practice, practice and practice. Think of various scenarios and questions that are most likely to come to you. Be prepared with the answers that you will give in those scenarios. Stand in front of the mirror, decide on a body posture you would stand in while presenting your opening speech and points, work on your tone, and also facial expressions. Timing yourself too is important. Rehearse your speech and points every time you practice.
With this, you will easily be able to debate and also travel close to victory. Debating is the best way to develop your cognitive and communication capability, which will help you in a big way in the outer professional world.