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Here's Why Every Child Should Try Debating

Debating is a lot more than a shouting match; it is about formulating convincing arguments supported by sound evidence 📚

Developing confidence, critical thinking and communication skills are just some of the benefits of learning how to debate. From planning your argument (even if you don’t agree with it) to choosing your words wisely, debating will help you take on whatever life decides to throw at you.

Here are 10 ways that debating can help your child in years to come:

1) Confidence Boost 🚀
Debating is more than just what you say; a great debater will pay close attention to how they say it. When learning to debate, you learn about how to come across as a stylish and confident speaker. From eye contact to your use of emotions, debaters implore many techniques to seem more confident and give themselves a confidence boost. If you are confident, you feel more able to take on increased responsibility and risks, helping you stand out as an individual.

2) Develop Critical and Creating Thinking 🤔
While you might not debate on a day-to-day basis, chances are you will get involved in small disagreements and differences of opinion. Debating, instead of arguing, can help you defuse a rapidly escalating situation. Debating helps develop essential critical and creative thinking skills. Creative thinking will help you develop innovative ideas, while critical thinking will help you become curious about those new ideas.

3) Articulate Your Thoughts Clearly 💭
Debating can help you become even better at explaining a whole variety of topics. From defining complex mathematical equations to explaining your favourite book’s storyline, debating enables you to identify your audience and choose the appropriate tone and examples. Too formal a tone will only alienate you from your listeners while being too relaxed might undermine your arguments. The ability to articulate and plan your thoughts is critical in debating, producing well-planned and robust arguments!

4) Think On Your Feet 🧠
Think outside of the box, challenge your opponent and be ready to identify any loopholes in their counter-argument. The ability to think on your feet and respond to questions and comments is essential while debating – hesitating could cost you precious time and points. The ability to think on your feet could stand you in good stead in any situation which life throws at you when time is of the essence, and a decision needs to be made fast.

5) Conflict Resolution 🤝
A good debater will remain focused and won’t stray from the issue they are discussing. Like any successful speaker, remember who you want to keep on your side and present a personable argument – you will appear instantly much more amenable. Knowing how to lose graciously and accept your failings are essential skills, both in debating and everyday life. This will also help resolve any conflicts before they have a chance to begin. So, accept any criticism that comes your way. It will make you a much more polished and proficient speaker – and human being – in the long term.

6) Develop Empathy 💜
A successful speaker will always maintain a degree of empathy.This will help you understand and accept the beliefs of others. Nobody is asking you to agree with the other party’s argument, but empathy is an important life skill, helping you improve your relations on both a personal and professional level.

7) Keep Your Emotions In Check 😊
A good debater will also remember to retain an element of poise and composure – addressing the issue rather than getting carried away emotionally. Managing your emotions will not only stand you in good stead while debating. It's no easy skill to manage but will gain you respect in every walk of life.

8) Construct Meaning out of Complex Situations 💪
Debating will also help you learn how to construct meaning out of, usually, rather complex topics. Finding solutions to a previous problem and compiling creative solutions and ideas are vital skills for any good debater. Thinking outside of the box and making the best of a bad situation are excellent traits to have, meaning you are prepared and ready to take on any challenge, no matter what the size.

9) Presentation Skills 🗣️
Presentation plays a crucial part in how others perceive you as an individual. Communication is both verbal and visual, and quite often, the audience has already shaped an opinion about who you are before you have even opened your mouth. Consider what you are going to say, speak slowly and with clear pronunciation. Use deliberate body language, a range of tones and emotions. Good presentation skills will earn you instant respect both while debating and in future situations.

10) An Expanded Worldview 👀
Debating not only touches on political and social topics but also helps individuals acquire a different worldview. Debating allows you to study issues that you wouldn’t normally consider, meaning you have a deeper understanding of the society and the world in which we live in. Being more conscious of the world we live in and being open to learn about situations you may not know much about will stand you in good stead for the future.

Want to learn more about what we do at Debate Mate? Sign your child up for a free 30-minute taster and give them the chance to experience the magic of a Debate Mate Club!