Debating Guide

Consciously or unconsciously we debate in everyday life. We are continually communicating our ideas and attempting to convince others of them by verbal reasoning, using our analytical thinking, speaking and listening skills. Debating is a way of improving these communication skills.

The responsibility of the MC of the debate is to introduce the topic, the teams and the individual speakers, and to announce the result.

There are two teams of 3 speakers, an Affirmative Team which argues in support of the topic, and a Negative Team which argues to disprove the topic. Both teams must define the topic from their point of view, develop a consistent team line to prove their own case and disprove that of the opposition.

The duties of the speakers for each side are:

– Define the topic. The Negative speaker accepts the Affirmative’s definition or justifies any amendment, then rebuts the Affirmative’s line of argument.
– Outline their team’s line
– Present examples to support their team line

– Rebut and continue attack on opposition line
– Defend their own teams arguments
– present further examples to reinforce their teams line

– Continue to rebut and attack opposition line
– Sum up teams line
– Show own team line to be superior to the opposition line
* Negative speaker is not permitted to introduce new material

The adjudicators will score each speaker on three categories:

MATTER: refers to WHAT is said; the actual facts and arguments presented; was the team line properly defined and reinforced; did the speaker understand and counter opposing arguments as they evolved.

MANNER: refers to the WAY in which the matter is presented; the speakers style of delivery and effectiveness of his presentation; did the speaker influence the audience through vocal variety, body language and enthusiasm.

METHOD: refers to HOW an individual speech is organised and structured, the logical sequence of ideas presented and development of the team line.

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