Learn to Debate Effectively in English!
Maybe you have always felt strongly about legalising recreational drugs, maybe you are pro-abortion, or anti-smoking, or perhaps you simply like to argue. Whatever your views, FOR or AGAINST a topic, read on for EXSELLme tips on how to argue those effectively.
Please note that if you have a discussion partner, you can always practise your debating skills together, with one of you arguing the case FOR and the other defending the case AGAINST the topic of the debate. Otherwise just practise in front of the mirror.
Debating is an art – so please remember to integrate the following when arguing your case:
1. A Detailed Introduction of Your Point of Views
- Something catchy to begin with
- But logical
- And to the point
2. Three to Five Arguments With Really Good Examples to Demonstrate Your Case
- Aim to surprise your opponent with unconventional truths
- Predict how your opponent might respond and prep your rebuttal
- On a practical note, use signposting – or sequencing as some may call it – to guide your audience: First of all, Firstly, Secondly, In addition, Moreover, Let’s now move onto etc…
- Remember that you have lots of possibilities to express disagreement: “I’m sorry to have to disagree”, “I’m afraid I just have to disagree with you”, “I wish I could I’m afraid I can’t”. Please, don’t just shout at your opponent!
3. A logical Conclusion, Summarising Your Arguments – as well as your opponent’s
- Even though no new information will miraculously appear and save the day at this point, you should use all your creativity to sway the argument in your favour at this stage.
- State your opinion clearly but for goodness sake, don’t just say ‘I think’ a hundred times here. Why not try some of these instead: Personally, I believe that…; As far as I’m concerned…; In my opinion…; I’m convinced that…; I suppose…?
4. Other Tips
- Remain courteous and polite. Remember it is not a battle but rather a civilised discussion!
- Practise arguing in front of the mirror before speaking to your opponent. This will help your fluency as well as improving your general presentation skills. Your body language is often as important as the words you say.
For additional sources of inspiration, do not hesitate to spy on some of the best speakers, such as Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Michelle Obama and Emma Watson to name but a few – for their presentation skills, logic and mannerisms. Here are some links to get you started:
By all means, feel free to get in touch with us if you wish to perfect your English or any area of Presenting and Debating. We run English classes for professionals at our offices in London and Alsace in France.
Remember that debating is all about conveying your views effectively, concisely and in a manner that is persuasive and direct. So do not let your hesitation or lack of confidence in your English drag you down. Here at EXSELLme we would be delighted to point out the quickest ways for you to improve your English and be able to impress people when you speak. Our individual English sessions run throughout the year and we are happy to combine face-to-face meetings with virtual sessions.