A debate is not a quarrel or stupid arguments to defeat the opponent in order to safeguard one’s ego at any cost. It is a search for the truth based on factual evidence. In the electronic era, traditional news hours in the media are replaced by live debates on almost all the major issues. Debates are also conducted in schools, colleges, parliaments, etc.

A debate can be defined as a verbal contest between two or more speakers on a controversial issue either in favour of or against is called a Debate. It is a serious discussion on a subject where opposing arguments are put forward by the debating teams.

There are different procedures for conducting a debate depending on the type of debate, purpose of debate, platform of debate etc. The classroom debates are exercises designed to allow you to strengthen your skills in the areas of leadership, interpersonal influence, teambuilding, group problem solving, and oral presentation. It is relatively easy to construct an issue for argument with a class, get them to consider arguments for or against and then speak to it from the ‘floor’.

Traditionally, a debate will have a ‘Motion’ (statement) which the ‘House’ (those attending) must address. Chairperson controls the debate, starting with the Proposer. He calls alternate sides to speak. The Chair also sets out the rules of the debate, the time limits etc. The following guidelines may be useful while you prepare for a debate. 1) Begin by introducing the debate topic in your own words. 2) Then write whether you agree or disagree with the argument. 3) Express your opinion in favour or against the topic with strong conviction. 4) Express your ideas in a coherent manner. 5) Illustrate your position by giving examples.6) There should be clarity of thought. 7) Humour, anecdotes, quotes and jokes can enliven your argument. 8) Adhere to the word limit. 8) Give a befitting conclusion.

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