How to Win a Debate

A debate can be a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal, theory, concept or hypothesis. However, sometimes it can simply be an argument with the next-door neighbor. There’s a thin line that differentiates between a debate and a quarrel; more aware that you are of that, less number of epithets you are going to gather later on. But then again, we all shall be more than happy if we never have to argue at all! But it’s a crowded world, full of contentious people and self-defense has never been claimed a vice.

So, first of all, decide upon the purpose behind the debate you’ve landed yourself up into. You must win a point (the sole reason behind arguments), so you must have enough convincing power. Your biggest aid should be from your logical and analytical powers and not from the strength of your voice. Debates must not be held to:

  • Work-off aggressions.
  • Self-impose for wrong causes or plain bullying.
  • To clarify an issue or a problem by force.

Decide first if you want to:

  • Win at-once or win in the long run.
  • Win over the other person(s) or win the audience.

Deciding the goal in advance saves a lot of sweat afterwards.

Gauge the opponent’s general attitude, including his strengths, weaknesses and his frame of mind. Steady and direct eye contacts often work wonders in this aspect; it helps in displaying certain emotions (e.g. humor, anger and pity) that maximize the effects a point can possibly bring in. It is one of the most powerful physical advantages.

Being courteous wins you 50% of the game! Courtesy is an essential factor and is demonstrated from a person’s tonal qualities, vocabulary and body language. Used the right way, being courteous makes you seem rational and in control. When used with proper, and to-the-point understatements, it has been found to bring even fiery and competent arguers down to their knees.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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