How-to-Debate-Seminar

Report
HOW TO DEBATE
THE BASICS
GET EXCITED
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BASIC DEBATE STRUCTURE
ROLES OF SPEAKERS
TYPES OF DEBATES
CONTENT OF SPEECHES
HOW TO GIVE A SPEECH
HOW TO WIN A DEBATE
POINTS OF INFORMATION
FUNDAMENTALS
HOW TO NOT LOOK LIKE A NOOB
•A debate is a
competitive, logical
argument between 2
teams on a given topic
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Two teams – one for the motion, one against it
Figure out which one you are and STICK TO IT
LOGICAL argumentation – have points, be clear
ARGUMENTATION – be persuasive. Your goal is to convince the
audience.
• COMPETITIVE – you want to beat the other team.
• First speaker
• Second Speaker
• [Third Speaker]
• Replies (Negative always goes first,
Affirmative always ends the debate)
• Points of Information
• Adjudicator observes
• Decides who wins
• Decides who is the best speaker
• Gives you feedback
• This is an organised, polite, and ACADEMIC debate
• Westminster style
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Don’t swear
Don’t shout
Don’t yell out when someone else is speaking
Don’t pull the fingers
Wear clothes (and continue to do so throughout the debate)
Don’t be drunk
Don’t’ be generally dumb/ridiculous
Respect the institution – it is a rich, historical act which has many followers
around the world and stems from a noble tradition of intelligent discussion
and fun. So do that. Not the other thing.
TURNS OUT THERE IS A POINT TO BEING A DIFFERENT SPEAKER
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Each speaker has a different role
First speaker – intro and 1-2 points
Second speaker – substantive arguments and rebuttal
Third speaker – advance some arguments and mostly rebuttal
Reply – summarise and cogent analysis
• Changes in turn if you are First Negative or First Affirmative speaker
Not a hard and fast rule – you just have to make your point the most
convincingly and this formula has historically been the most convincing
break-down of speaker allocations and roles.
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Introduction
Split
Points
Narrative
Facts and analysis
Context and definition
• Negative first speaker
• Rebuttal
• Own context and definition
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Rebuttal
2-3 substantive points
DOES THE MOST IN TERMS OF ADVANCING THE CASE
Facts, arguments
Split
• Negative second
• More rebuttal
• Usually doesn’t have a substantive point
• Depends the style of debating you are doing
• Focus on rebuttal
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• Don’t do that thing that school kids do where they read out a list of
points and tell the adjudicator why they are wrong
• This is BAD
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Can be first or second speaker
Generally tends to be first speaker
Summarises the debate
Outlines the main points
Outlines the strongest arguments and who won them
Tells the adjudicator why their team won all the important points
TURNS OUT NOT EVERY DEBATE IS THE SAME….
• There is always a point to the debate
• We don’t just want to sit around and hear all the stuff you know
on a random topic
• There is a principled argument at the heart of these debates
• Find it
• Debate about it
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Debates where something is wrong/bad/not ideal
Saw WHY that thing needs to be changed
Propose to change it
Say HOW you are going to change
Say WHY that model for change will work
Say WHY changing the thing will be good/better/amazing for
the world/the country/a particular group of people/an
institution in question.
• If you are in the negative – say the opposite of all of these
things
• Debates where you have to evaluate something/say why
something is good/bad
• Will be indicated in the wording of the moot
• Requires evaluation
• Say what is good
• Say why it is good
• Say what a good x would be, and what about y makes it a
good x
• If you are in the negative, say the opposite of all of these things
• This house would vote Republican
• This house would legalise Euthanasia
• This house would abolish all forms of taxation
• This house would criminalize adultery
• This house supports the use of force against Syria.
HOW TO SAY STUFF GOOD
• Potentially the most important
• Always a rough divide between what you say and how you say
it
• Usually comes down to what you say
• Be clear
• Be slow
• Be convincing
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Facts
Analysis
Reasoning
Arguments
Develop points
Rebut other points
Use examples
Don’t just make unqualified assertions
Back up what you say
SAY SOMETHING GOOD
• Combination of what you say and how you say it
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Largely covered already
Make sure you FULFILL YOUR ROLE
Do all of the things I said you should do PLUS
Have points
Have a structure
Have numbers
Have a clear introduction
Have a clear conclusion
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Say all the things I told you to say PLUS
Speak clearly
Speak slowly
Look up
Don’t read off paper
Look around (don’t creepily stare at the adjudicator)
Speak loudly (or at least command attention)
Be engaging
Don’t walk around
Don’t gesticulate like a crazy person
• All the things you do with your body detract from your
persuasiveness as a speaker
• Make sure that you are engaging and interesting and BE
CONFIDENT
IF ONLY IT WAS THIS EASY…
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That isn’t meant to be a joke – literally debate well
Fulfill your role better than the other team does
Respond to all their arguments
Be consistent down your team line
Reiterate points that the other team hasn’t responded to
Make points stronger if they have been responded to
Tell the adjudicator why your understanding/conception of
reality is more convincing than the other teams
• Persuade the adjudicator that you are correct and the other
team is wrong
• Adhere to the team line
• Be clear
• Be confident
THE BLACK HOLE OF DEBATING
• THEY ARE NOT
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A chat
A chance for you to make a point you forgot about
A chance for you to heckle the other team
An opportunity to crack a joke
A mini-debate within a debate
A conversation about something unrelated to debating
An angry yelling session
A make or break element of debating
A time-filler when you run out of things to say
• You will not lose a debate because of POIs
• But it is a way to be exceptionally more convincing than the
other team AND a way to emphasise key aspects of the debate
when the other team is trying to pull the debate onto their
terms.
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Ask a question in the POI
Call out ‘Point of Information’ or ‘On that point’
Stand up
Put your hand out
WAIT TO BE ACCEPTED
Sit down if declined
If standing for more than 30 seconds, ask again
Be polite and respectful
Don’t give more than one every 20 seconds
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Don’t leave the opposition hanging
Accept or decline as soon as possible
Accept at least two in your speech
Don’t accept more than two
Actually answer the question
Tell the adjudicator why it is wrong or doesn’t prove anything
• Start off with ‘wouldn’t you agree…?’
• ‘But isn’t it the case that…?’
• ‘What would you say to …?’
• They are your arguments phrased as questions in such a way
that the person speaking has to DIRECTLY ENGAGE with a key
plank of your case
• It is a way to make your main points continue to seem relevant
throughout the debate, and to hammer home when the other
team doesn’t have an adequate answer to your argument.
KEY THINGS TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS
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Have points
Have structure
Have an argument
Have something your team STANDS FOR
Collaborate in the prep room
FIND THE PRINCIPLE
Debate about that.
• Tips for the prep room
• Practice at identifying the principle in debates.
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THW criminalise Holocaust denial
THW criminalise abortion
THS animal testing
TH would legalise necrophilia
THW eat meat
THW abolish religious schools
THW abolish all forms of censorship
THW invade and capture Joseph Kony
THW abolish the permanent seat on the UNSC
THW allow judges to be elected.

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