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How To Start A Debate




Debate is a process that involve a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote.


Steps to start a debate:

Opening the debate:

  • [a nice opening is using a quote]
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to this debate.
  • Welcome from this side of the house…
  • The motion for debate today is: … defining the motion:
  • Now we as today’s proposition/opposition strongly believe that this is true/not true.
  • let us first define some important terms in this debate.
  • We believe that what is meant by … is… / that … are …
  • When we say … should … we mean that …

Presenting the team-line

  • We as today’s proposition/opposition have structured our case as follows:
  • I, as the first speaker, will be talking about …
  • Our second speaker, …, will elaborate on the fact that …
  • And our third speaker, …, will do the rebuttal.

Rebutting arguments, rebuilding your case

  • But before I come to my own arguments, let us first have a look at what … has said.
  • I will continue our case in a minute, but before that…
  • There are some things about the… speech that need to be addressed.
  • The first prop/opposition speaker has told us …; on the contrary …
  • He/She also said that …; but in fact..
  • He/She was claiming that …; but as my first speaker already told you, …

Introducing arguments

  • Let me come to my first/second/…/next argument: [concise label of argument]
  • My first/… argument is:
  • The first/… reason why we’re prop/opposing this motion is: explaining arguments:
  • [rather abstract explanation on how the argument should work] giving examples:
  • There are many examples for this/for …, for instance.
  • In fact, you can find many examples for this in real life. Just think of…
  • And there are similar cases, such as…, …
  • So in this simple example we can clearly see the effect of …
  • So as we have seen [argument label], and therefore [motion].
  • Now because of this …, we have to support this motion.

Summarising & ending your speech

  • So Ladies and Gentlemen, what have I told you today? Firstly …, Secondly..
  • [some nice closing words]
  • And for all of these reasons, the motion must stand/fall.

Thank you!

Bernard Bassey is a graduate of Software Engineering from AfriHUB University, Abuja. He is an expert in field journalism, his interest in socio-politics activities is keen.

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