Political debate is an important part of our democracy. It allows us to get to know each other and make decisions about our country. Unfortunately, there are many ways that people can distort the truth during a debate. To help you prepare for your next political debate, following are a few tips from an expert on the subject.
Know the Rules of the Debate
According to the American Debate Association, a debate is a formal discussion between two or more individuals that is intended to present arguments for and against a particular issue. Debates typically take place in face-to-face settings, but may also be conducted over teleconferencing methods such as Skype or Google Hangouts.
Debating generally has three parts:
- Opening Statements
- Rebuttals and;
- Closing Statements
An opening statement generally consists of the debaters stating their positions on the topic at hand. A rebuttal is when one debater restates their position in response to what the other debater has said. A final closing statement is made by each debater after both have made their opening and rebuttal statements.
Practice Your Questions
It is important to ask tough, pointed questions during a debate. Like for example, if it’s about a shady business, ask them to see inventory and explain how they arrive in such figures. For politics, there are many ways that you can practice your questions in advance. You could create a document with the questions and answers on it. You could write them down beforehand and take a photo of it. Or you could even record yourself asking the question.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that what you say or write is true in order to avoid accusations of misrepresenting your position during the debate.
Refrain from Personal Attacks
When it comes to political debate, personal attacks are a common tactic. This is because people often try to make their points by attacking the person they’re debating or what they stand for. Unfortunately, this is not a good strategy. It doesn’t help you make your point and it can be really damaging to the person you’re debating and to your reputation as well.
Instead, use facts and figures to back up what you are saying. Stay away from using personal attacks if at all possible!