One of the reasons people turn away from debate is because of the public speaking element. Learning to speak in front of a crowd can be intimidating when you aren’t in a safe environment. One of our major priorities at SEDA is to help prepare students so they feel comfortable speaking in front of small audiences.
When first beginning to debate, more sophisticated techniques in style and strategy are very difficult. By remembering these key concepts for public speaking, you’ll improve greatly.
Judges want debaters to succeed. The majority of them are volunteers, often parents or former debaters. Your first objective as a speaker is to appeal to the judges. Being courteous to others in the debate room, and enjoying what you’re doing is a great way to connect to your audience.
There is nothing that people dislike more than an impolite debater. Being rude or disrespectful towards your judges or fellow debaters does not go well. Stand up for your side, and be strong in your defense of the case, but never attack the individuals on the other side of the motion. SEDA wants to cultivate a friendly, safe environment for everyone involved.
Winning is obviously the goal for many debaters, but do so in a clean, fair manner. Interpret your opponent’s material in the best possible light, and successfully take it down anyways. If you debate clean, you will earn much more respect and be far more successful.