A debate is a contest between two speakers or two groups of the speaker to show skill and ability in arguing. Speakers are required to speak for or against a proposition, a question or a problem. To participate in a debate, one must prepare an out line of the main points in order in which one is going to argue. Every topic/subject has its own vocabulary. These must be learnt. The speaker addresses the chair (Mr. President/Madam), ‘submits’ an argument, ‘appeals’ for sympathetic understanding and support, ‘questions’ the opponent’s views and ‘concludes’ an argument. He also ‘answers’ questions in the rebuttal session.

Following expressions can be useful in preparing your own arguments

I’d like to raise a question/argue ———
In my Opinion ———–
I’d like to present my view ————-
I would like to draw the attention ———-
I fail to understand ————
My knowledgeable opponent has submitted that ————
Do you realize that ————?
The point is ———–
The trouble is ————
May I ask ————–?
The problem is ———-
I firmly reject ————–

Layout of the Debate

1. Greeting the audience, introducing yourself, taking a clear position
2. Introduction the topic with a Quotation. Make a dramatic opening statement.
3. Address the audience. Introduce yourself. Take your position for or against the motion.
4. Present your arguments in a sequence. Support your claims and counter claims with facts statistics and quotations and news –items etc.
5. Refer to the speech (es) of your opponent(s) and tear apart their forceful rebuttal, denials and counter arguments.
6. Give your opinion in the concluding paragraph. Sound a warning, make an appeal or express a fear or hope. The conclusion should be as dramatic and effective as the beginning.
7. Don’t forget to thank the audience.

Sample Usage

Good morning everybody, I’m Pooja Gupta and today’s debate competition, I stand before you to support the motion: Soft drinks should be totally banned.

Next time you reach for your favorite fizz, stop for a while and ask yourself: is your drink safe for human consumption?

The answer may shock the wits out of you. You may be drinking poison for ever the best of the branded drinks have been found to be far more toxic than what human beings can take in safety.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that your favorite cola does not contain only much guarded secret of its flavor but also DDT, malathion, lindane and chlorpyrifos- all deadly poisons and banned pesticides.

Contrary to my opponent’s view that soft drinks are refreshing thirst-quenchers, doctors, dieticians and health experts are unanimous in their opinion that soft drinks are deadly not only because they have been found to be toxic but also because they have no nutritional value and cause diabetes and obesity.

I fail to understand the need for soft drinks when our indigenous shikanjvi, sherbets and lassi are much more healthy, safe and tasty.

On the basis of these arguments, I whole-heartedly support the motion that soft drinks should be totally banned.

Thank you