PCDS Masthead

Debating Skillset

During delivery of your speech remember your:


 Volume - change it for emphasis but don't talk too loudly or too softly.

River Rye Tone - change it for emphasis but don't speak in an unusual or out of character tone. 

Speed - slow down for the important stuff, but don't go too slow or too fast. 


Use your hands to emphasize important points, a lot of gestures makes you look more energetic, which increases dynamism. 


Your face is the most expressive part of your body, and studies show people pay attention to the expression on your face. Make sure to use facial expressions which match the points you are making. Don't send mixed signals. 


Don´t be afraid to move around a bit, but don't stray too far from your notes and your evidence.

Your Goals:

  1. Clarity & comprehension: the judge needs to understand what you say.
  2. Increase your credibility: good delivery makes the judge want to believe you.
  3. Enhance memory: you want the judge to remember what you said as well as flow it.

Be dynamic - People tend to believe and listen to dynamic speakers.

You are a dynamic speaker when you speak with energy, enthusiasm, commitment, and variety. You are not dynamic when you are unconcerned, un confident, speak in a monotone, and are just plain boring. Act like you care about the arguments and you really want to win this debate.

Create dynamism by using:

  1. Variation - never do the same thing over and over again in any of your speaking habits. Mix it up.
  2. Emphasis - use your delivery (voice, gestures, etc.) to emphasize and highlight the important arguments and the important words in your evidence.
  3. Naturalness - be yourself, because if the judge thinks you are trying to be fake, they will not want to believe you. You are cool, don't worry about it, impress them with your dynamism and your arguments.

The five C's

First impressions are important. In interview situations, most people are"hired"in the minds of the interviewer within the first 3 minutes based on their appearance alone.

  • Competitive (serious demeanor, ready to debate on time)
  • Confident (proper research, up on time, act like you feel good about what you are saying)
  • Courteous (not shmoozing, friendly, mature)
  • Credible (you want to be, dynamism can really help)
  • Commanding (dress appropriately, do not use profanities, don´t be afraid, don´t be rude, do not insult)

Debating Benefits

  • Enhances analytical thinking skills.
  • Hones the ability to think clearly under pressure.
  • Gives us a strong sense of curiosity and a love of learning about issues and the world around us.
  • Teaches us the ability to gather and evaluate information from a range of sources.
  • Provides us with a well informed exchange of ideas.
  • Teaches us great communication skills.
  • Makes us coherent and confident expression of ideas in collaboration with teammates.
  • Gives us the ability to convincingly argue a point of view for their team, which we may not personally support.
  • Develops public speaking skills. Improves our word power vocabulary and strength of language.
  • Provides opportunities to improve our social skills. Promotes self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Gives us a sense of understanding, tolerance and acceptance of different view points Values the right of others to hold different and alternative ideas.

Debaters in action Cork Toastmasters Vs PCDS June 2013

Debating GesturesDebating Gestures

Typical Gesturing
Facing your audience

People are natural debaters. Almost every conversation could be called a debate once two people are exchanging ideas or thoughts. Have you had any dialogue with your employer, partner, or children today or this week, chances are it ended in an exchange of ideas. Were you at a meeting where ideas were flowing and you contributed, the chances are you were debating how to maybe get the job done with the least cost and effort. All this is debating all be it not in a formal manner but non the less you were debating 

Everyone has debated, and almost everyone has debated more recently than they think. Debating is everywhere, on the television and radio, in the newspapers, and in our workplace. As a society, we debate about almost everything - from the prices of everything to washing the car. Everyone can do it. What´s more, debating gives you the chance to meet new people and generate new ideas. Best of all, you have the opportunity to stand up and argue with someone in public, in a stimulating and organised dispute about real issues. Debating improves your skills of formal argument and best of all, debating is fun..