Not all speeches are equal. In fact, some speeches are much more dynamic and aggressive than others. One great example of this is a debate. A debate is a great way to show the importance of public speaking. In a debate, you can prepare for the discussion, but you can’t completely prepare for it. Instead, you’re going to have to think on your feet. As you might well imagine, this style of speaking can get to be quite tricky very quickly…
Four Ways To Prepare For A Debate
When you know that you are going to be involved in a debate, you need to show up ready. As speakers, we all know about creating a speech and practicing it. A debate is a bit different – yes, there will be some speaking to be done, but it’s going to be a lot more dynamic. In order to be an effective speaker at your next debate, here are four ways that you can prepare to be successful:
- Pick A Position: Every debate is about something. No matter if you are running for a chair on the city council or if you are going to be talking about which science book should be used in the local schools, you need to have a position going into the debate. When you show up for the debate, you are going to want to make sure that you have brought along evidence to support your position – because the other side will have done this!
- Be Ready For Counterarguments: It is the very nature of a debate for the other side of the debate to push back against whatever position you are taking. What this means for you is that long before the debate occurs, you need to take the time and think about what their counterarguments may be and how best to respond to them.
- Own The Lectern: So much of a debate has to do with the level of self-confidence that you project to the audience. In order to come across as though you know what you are talking about, you need to own the lectern. This means that when you take the stage you stride to the lectern and you make it yours. You don’t come across as being timid or weak – let everyone know that you are right where you need to be.
- Rise To The Scrutiny: What you say during a debate will be questioned by the other party. They may pick it apart and they may come back at you with questions based on what you’ve said. You need to anticipate this happening and you need to keep your cool. They are not attacking you personally, but rather trying to sell their ideas by discounting yours. You need to rise to the occasion and address their questions in a cool and confident manner.
What All Of This Means For You
A very important form of speaking is the debate. This style of speaking uses the benefits of public speaking to allow your audience to hear two sides of an issue or see how two (or more) different candidates would deal with an important issue. Debating is not easy to do, but it is a very important skill to have.
In order to prepare for a debate, you need to make sure that you have a position on a topic and that you know why you have it. You also have to take the time to anticipate how your debate partner is going to counter your position. While you are speaking you need to make sure that you command the lectern Finally, take the time to learn how to remain cool during a debate.
The good news is that a debate is a very powerful form of communication. The bad news is that it is conducted in an adversarial environment and it can be very hard to do correctly. Take the time to follow the four suggestions that we’ve reviewed and the next time that you’re asked to participate in a debate, you’ll be ready!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that you should spend more or less time preparing for a debate than you do a normal speech?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
We all know about the importance of public speaking, but why do we give speeches? The reasons vary, but more often than not we are trying to convince an audience to do something. This means that we’re going to have to deliver a persuasive speech. Before you can do that, you’re going to have to write a persuasive speech. Now I wonder just exactly how one should go about doing that…?