Arguing in a debate

Winning a debate isn't just about being clever or talking loudly. Read these tips on how to be convincing during an argument or debate.

Tips for successful arguing

  • put forward the most convincing points in a persuasive way
  • listen carefully to what your opponent says and refer back to their points - this will show that you have been listening carefully and provide a polite way to show that your own point is even stronger

Of course, you will need to write your argument in preparation for a debate. Think carefully about the speaking techniques that you can use to engage your reader and how you will include them.

In a debate, think carefully about the way that you will deliver your proposing or opposing speech to help you present it successfully:

  • Use pausing and intonation – use silences effectively and add emphasis to key words so that they stand out and signal your attitude clearly. Think carefully about the key ideas you want to get across, and adapt your speaking style to ensure that you sound authentic and authoritative. Sometimes, it is really important to stop and let your audience take in what you have said, for example, after a rhetorical question. Practise your speech and think about where pausing and silence will add impact and try to use this as a tool to engage your listener.
  • Adapt and use volume - emphasise key words, eg in a list of three, you can make your volume louder as you go up through the list. This will ensure that the final thing that you say – the most important of the three - has a clear, loud emphasis.
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