Research, reasoning, and even public speaking skills are just a few of the many benefits that come with learning to be a good debater. From planning your argument – even if it’s one you disagree with – to choosing your words with care, debating can prepare you to take on any challenge life may present to you.
Debating is, by no means, the same thing as engaging in a full-blown argument. Instead, you will have to prepare a compelling, succinct argument, which will gain support and backing, rather than simply attacking your opponent blindly.
Here are some ways that debating can benefit you:
Improved Critical Thinking Skills
While you may not engage in a debate every single day, you will likely get into differences of opinion and small disagreements on an almost-daily basis. Debating, rather than arguing, can help you ease a situation that was otherwise rapidly escalating. Instead of raising your voice, you should take a step or two back and carefully choose your words.
Debating will help you develop critical thinking skills that are essential in daily life. Critical thinking is the ability to make well thought out and reasoned arguments while also questioning the evidence behind a particular conclusion or stance.
It will help you become curious about new ideas while also maintaining skepticism, building a healthy attitude to questioning. It will even help you become more humble – you’re not going to be right all the time!
Have you ever experienced that feeling when you simply cannot get the words to leave your mouth, or you can’t get them out quickly enough? Debating can help you become a master at explaining several topics.
From your favorite book’s plotline to complex mathematical equations, debating will help you identify your audience and choose an appropriate tone. If your tone is too formal, you’re going to distance yourself from your listeners, while being too relaxed will undermine any arguments you try to make.
Planning and articulating your thoughts is an essential skill that every debater must have to produce a sharp and well-planned argument.
Improved Research Skills
The argument matters in any debate, even if you don’t personally agree with it based on principle. The way you deliver your winning speech is another essential factor – maintaining eye contact and keeping calm have been proven to be effective techniques for debating.
Just as important is the method with which you construct your debate. Your arguments will need to be coherent, and they must make sense. Good debaters will keep all of these things in mind and the core elements that they have accumulated through education, i.e., finding and reading sources, drafting and writing a speech, and being able to listen and confidently speak.
Challenge your opponent, think outside the box, and be prepared to identify any gaps in their counter-arguments. Responding to comments and questions and thinking on your feet are essential debating skills, as hesitating could cost you precious time and points.
Thinking quickly could prepare you for just about any situation that life presents to you when time is crucial, and a decision must be made fast.
Resolution of Conflict
A skilled debater will be able to remain focused on their goal and not stray from the topic or issue discussed. Like any orator worth their salt, you will need to remember who you want to keep on your side and present a personable argument. Doing so will make you appear immediately more likable and amenable.
Accepting a loss with grace and taking accountability for your failings are essential skills, both in your daily life and in debating. They’ll also help you resolve any conflict before it can even begin, so be sure to accept any constructive criticism that comes your way.
Doing so will make you a far more proficient and polished speaker in the long term.
Successful speakers will always be empathetic while participating in any debate. You may not agree with the argument that you have been assigned, but empathy is going to allow you to at least understand the beliefs of the people that do agree with your argument.
You are not being asked to agree with the argument of the opposition, but empathy is a critical life skill nonetheless, as it helps you improve your interpersonal relations on a professional and personal level.
Good debaters can also maintain an element of composure and poise, addressing the issue at hand rather than letting it carry them away. In fact, managing your emotions is not only a useful skill when it comes to debating but will earn you respect in almost all other aspects of your life.
Of course, you should not be entirely devoid of emotions when debating. Relating to the subject matter on an emotional level is vital. It ties in with empathy, as it will allow you to understand both sides of the argument and enable you to decide how to structure your argument.
Finding Meaning in Complex Situations
Practicing your debating skills will also allow you to form meanings from what are generally pretty complicated topics. From banning nuclear energy to world peace, you’ll be able to form a better argument if you take the time to research the topic and develop the points you want to make carefully.
A critical skill for any good debater is to find solutions to previous problems and compile creative solutions and ideas. Making the best of a bad situation and thinking outside of the box will only be beneficial in the long run, allowing you to take on any challenge, no matter how challenging.
Your presentation also plays a vital role in how you are perceived as an individual by others and how you are perceived as competition. Speak slowly and with clear enunciation, and consider what it is you are going to say.
This will make for a clearer understanding of what you are talking about and make for better reasoning. Displaying skills in presentation will earn you immediate respect both while you are debating and in other situations where you need to be in front of a group of people talking.
A Broader View of the World
Debating can also help individuals develop a new view of the world around them. Debating has students studying topics that usually would not cross their minds, providing them with a deeper understanding of our society and the world we live in.
A broadened worldview will also encourage learners to appreciate their achievements and talents while also appreciating their upcoming opportunities.
Debating is an excellent school tool to encourage higher-order and critical thinking skills. It teaches students to structure and organize their thoughts while also developing their analytical and research skills.