Many teachers propose debates in their classes, but very few students dare to intervene, and it is a shame because participating in discussions prepares us for several important things that will be very useful in the future; for example, to speak in public correctly, to convince with our oratory, to confront a boss or coworker knowing that we can resolve conflicts assertively, to ponder our answers, argue rightly, control our gestures, not let ourselves lead by bad temper, etc.
Do not cut yourself. If you are discussing any topic in class, it is expected that you have a prior opinion about it or that you are forming it at that time. You should not be afraid to say something inappropriate or absurd, and the important thing is that you find some arguments that lead you to choose one position or another and that you are humble to accept that you may be wrong. Shyness only limits us, so shake it off and start enjoying the discussions.
Even if you are already clear about your opinion on the subject under discussion, you must listen carefully to what the arguments of others are to contribute new perspectives, not repeat what has already been saying and convince with more substantial arguments.
In a good debate, it is necessary to respect each other’s speaking turns and not step on each other as they do on television. We must always respect our “opponents” and not disrespect anyone no matter how much we think they are wrong. Keep in mind that what you say will be taken more seriously if you engage in swearing and yelling.
More logic and fewer emotions
In a debate, the arguments used should be based on logic and not on ill-considered feelings or opinions. Try to minimize emotional responses and find a scientific basis on which to support your views. If you are ghostwriter for hire, then you will get more ideas, and if there is no scientific basis, at least try to make them consistent and rational.
Don’t beat around the bush.
It is essential that you be brief in your intervention and that you go to the vital ideas of what you want to convey. It is not about giving a speech, no matter how beautiful it is, but about posing answers to a given topic (or questions, which can also be an exciting resource to put opponents in a bind) clearly and concisely.
Don’t tell personal anecdotes.
What happened to you or your cousin last summer, as much as you think it may be an illustrative example of the case, it does not matter to anyone, and the only thing you will achieve is to bore others and lose the attention of the listeners. Nor is it very advisable, although many do and it is tolerated, that you resort to the famous hackneyed phrases. The good thing about a debate is that you can use your arguments to defend an idea, not that you quote Paulo Coelho or Immanuel Kant, because, even if you think that makes you seem more cultured, it is a lie: it makes you seem more pedantic and lacking in creativity.
Join a debate club
Most universities have debate clubs where, in addition to learning to debate, you can meet other students with interests similar to yours. For example, at the University of Salamanca, they even have a blog for their debate association. What are you waiting for to sign up?