The very purpose behind participating in a debate is to make others agree to your point of view. The commonest of mistake that debaters make is to passionately start arguing about what they feel is correct. Let me tell you, this is not going to make you a winner in a debating competition. Debating in no way means that you end up arguing with your opponent. Your main purpose is to connect with your audience and judges, and convince them that what you are saying is right. The following tips for winning a debate completion will further help you out.
Be Well Prepared
This is very important. If you already know the topic that you are going to debate on, learn as much about it as you can. Research on it extensively and then form opinions about it. Read books, magazines and explore the topic on the Internet. Remember, only if you know something in and out, will you be able to talk convincingly on it.
When you are putting your point in front of your opponent as well as the audience, be very confident and assertive. Along with the words, your body language, voice modulation and eye contact, will play a major part in your success in debating. So, practice with friends or in front of the mirror everyday before the competition, so that you are confident about yourself.
Make a Connection
As mentioned before, winning a debate has more to do with your ability to win over your audience as well as the panel of judges, than to score a point over your opponent. So, during the debate, try to connect as much as you can with your audience. If you have some fresh ideas, put them across in such a way that the judges and the audience is forced to open up their minds to them. Promote dialog, instead of arguing with your opponent. This will definitely help you earn many brownie points over your opponent.
Give Real Life Examples
While debating, make use of very simple language, which your audience can understand very easily, and give as many real examples as you can, when making a point. If to prove your point, you tell something which you or someone else has personally experienced, the audience will find you much more convincing.
Although it may seem a bit difficult, yet, if you do not get emotionally involved in the debate, if you are detached about the whole issue that you are debating, however strongly you feel about it, it will increase your efficiency. If you debate in a simple, detached and rational manner, without getting overtly emotional about the topic at hand, your clarity of thought and straightforwardness is bound to show up, thus increasing the efficacy of your point of view. Also, during the debate, whatever your opponent says, do not ever take it personally!
To win any debate, there is something about the human mind that you should be aware of. The thing with us humans is that if we see something, we believe and remember it much more than something we merely hear! So, apply the same thing while debating too, i.e. be descriptive while putting forth your point of view, and try to paint a picture of the same in the mind of your audience. Tell your point of view in such a way that the audience can actually "see" what you are saying. If you are somehow able to pull this off, there is no denying the fact that you will emerge as the winner of the debate competition!
With these tips on debating, I am sure that now you have some basic idea on how to go about it. When it comes to debating, it always pays to be well read and knowledgeable, not only about the topic at hand, but also about lots of other things, as it helps you form your thoughts, feelings and opinions on many other things in life. Coming back to debating competitions, as with everything else, practice is what will make you perfect and successful. So practice, participate in as many debating contests as you can, follow the tips mentioned above, and with time, you will see yourself winning over your audience and judges!