Twenty Golden Rules of Debating

  1. Speak up! Don’t read out your palm cards!
  2. Listen well to what the other speakers say!
  3. Improve your performance and never give up!
  4. Keep to the rules of debating! However good your English may be: If you violate the rules of debating, you’ll lose!
  5. Keep it simple! Don’t use far-fetched examples or complicated words!
  6. Whatever you say: Keep the audience in mind!
  7. Show confidence – you’re on the right side of the debate!
  8. Take notes while the other side are speaking!
  9. Do what you’re supposed to do – fulfil your role! (proposing team: build up a proper case and defend it; opposing team: attack the other team and prove them wrong!
  10. Be prepared: Try anticipating what the other team will say! As a third speaker, don’t use new arguments! A reply speech does not contain any rebuttal!
  11. In all stages of your preparations and during the debate: work together as a team!
  12. Never underestimate a “weak” team!
  13. As the proposing side: Get the definition right – make it debatable! Keep to the definition! If opposing: accept the definition if it’s not completely insane! If you disagree with the definition, everybody on your team must challenge the definition!
  14. Do research – get the facts right!
  15. Give evidence for what you say! Personal examples are not enough!
  16. Rank your arguments according to their importance, beginning with the most important point!
  17. Focus on the actual topic! If the other side wanders off the topic, bring them back to what it’s actually about!
  18. Rehearse your speech to adjust your time management!
  19. Structure your speech – do signposting! Say, what you want to say, then say it, repeat what you’ve just said!
  20. Be respectful with the other team!