A debate is a discussion in which two people argue different points to determine the outcome and sway the opinion of the public. Debates are highly formal, and the subject matter is decided beforehand so as to give ample opportunity to each participant.
However, preparing for a debate is much easier said than done. Many people who find it difficult to speak in front of an audience usually suffer from anxiety and are unable to present their point on top.
There are also a series of debate questions that you have to ask yourself before you get on stage or start with the preparation.
It’s obviously not easy to get on stage without having done your research or preparing yourself beforehand. Even the most expert speakers like to take a day or two to prepare for different questions. So, without further ado, here are the most common questions you might want to ask.
What Are the Main Advantages and Disadvantages?
One of the most common questions to ask yourself while debating is related to the pros and cons of the side you have chosen. If you are debating for the subject, it’s important that you don’t just focus on the pros, but the cons as well.
The reason for that is simple: your opponent will also have done his or her research and might catch you out. You must know both sides of the story before you start debating.
There are many reasons why this is quite important. You need to cover all areas of the topic so that you know how to answer in case your opponent touches one of the weak points.
There are a number of pointers that you should have prepared beforehand, such as whether it sends out an important message, minimizes damage, or is a cost difference.
What Side Am I Comfortable on?
More importantly, you need to make sure that you have chosen a side that you are comfortable with. This is fairly obvious: if you are getting into a debate with someone else, you should at least pick a side that you are comfortable debating on.
A common debate you might have heard about is related to climate change. Many believe it, but there’s a small minority that believes there’s no such thing. Obviously, if you were going to get into such an argument, you should have the facts ready.
For instance, if you believe in climate change, there is reason to debate with someone on the side that it doesn’t exist.
Now, it’s understandable that in some situations, this won’t be possible. For most debates, the sides are chosen by another person, so you will only have to prepare based on what you are given.
What Are the Key Points I Want to Touch on?
A successful debate is one in which you are able to link the pros and cons with real-life impact. For instance, if you are going to debate about the benefits of solar energy, highlighting the benefits directly isn’t enough.
It’s easy to say that solar energy is renewable and doesn’t release harmful pollutants in the environment. However, to really back your point, you have to go a step further.
Keep in mind that you will only have a finite amount of time when you are up on stage, so it’s important that you do not create an exhaustive list. Choose a few pros and cons, and then go along from there.
Back up Your Points
Carrying on from the point above, you must back up each of your points with real-world implications. For instance, if solar energy is less expensive, what kind of an impact can it have on impoverished countries?
You have to make sure that you back up everything you say with real-world implications so that those in the crowd are able to relate to your point. Simply highlighting the pros and cons is not enough; you must go a step further.
Get the Facts
They say you should let the facts speak for themselves, and it holds true when it comes to declamation. When searching for facts, make sure you look at both sides of the story.
Don’t pick up facts without context because you can rest assured that your opponent will also have done their research about all of this. If you give out a fact without context, you might be called out on it.
Make sure you have all the facts at the ready, and whenever you make a claim, you should back it up. Also, when looking for facts, it’s imperative that you check the source. Only use facts from trusted sources, otherwise you could leave yourself exposed.
The Weak Points
When you pick up any side for a debate, you should know that there are always going to be weak points that your standing will be exposed to.
Ask yourself: what are the weak points?
You have to make sure that you prepare yourself to the best of your capability, and the best way to do that is by researching what your opponent might throw at you. This is an important part of the preparation process and will ensure that you are well-prepared for what might be thrown at you.
A rebuttal is when you counter the argument by your opponent. It is important that you do not just jump out and attack each of your opponent’s examples or arguments, but take a tactful approach.
First of all, during preparation, you should highlight certain points for which you have a strong rebuttal. Make sure you have highlighted important areas that you have strong counters for, so that you are not left unprepared during the debate.
These are just a few questions that you should ask yourself before you go into a debate.