The moment of truth! My debate, what do I need to remember?

The moment of truth! My debate, what do I need to remember?

Your arguments have been researched and prepared, you know what your teammates are going to say and you’ve got your points ready to refute the other team. The posters are up around the school advertising the debate, the audience is gathered and the Chairperson calls the house to order. You’re off!

The team captains will speak twice once to open the debate on behalf of your team and at the end to close your team’s arguments. Throughout the debate, you and your entire team should be listening out for points to refute and rebut the other team’s arguments. Write clearly and pass them on to the next speaker or the captain for his or her summation.

When you’re speaking, remember:

  • Use your notes as little as possible
  • Pace yourself; don’t speak too fast; the adjudicators won’t be able to follow your speech and you will waste all of your hard work
  • Be confident, enjoy yourself and be passionate about the subject (even if you are shaking like a leaf)
  • Keep your voice clear and remember you know more about the subject than your audience
  • Quote sources for your statistics and facts
  • Try to refute your opponent’s arguments
  • If you have a team line, use it sparingly and to emphasise your points – you don’t want your audience or adjudicators to become bored with it