In this presidential election year, it is all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of debates and the 48 hour barrage of media and comedy show commentary that comes afterwards.
There are many technical styles of debate in educational and competitive formats. Even more when you consider that many everyday conversations can essentially constitute "debates." However as one of our fourth grade debaters observed during the 2012 election season,
"They're not debating the right way, they're not even listening to each other. They're just saying quotes for the newspapers." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
What is one thing that Cruz did to hurt his position? According to Mr. Graham, Cruz didn't have a ready answer for an argument he knew Trump was going to use.
And what would a DebateAble debater tell you he should have done? Plan ahead, of course. Know your position and your opponent's positions well enough to be able to refute nearly any argument they can come up with. In this case, one you
know they will use. So while our debaters may sometimes resist arguing
both sides of a resolution (Hello - kids SHOULD have homework? We SHOULDN'T have cell phones?), there are reasons we teach this skill. The ability to see both sides of an argument prepares us to better defend our position. Plus, it helps us to separate emotions from arguments
and teaches empathy.
What is one thing that Trump did to help his position? He used humor.
Winning over your audience, whether in formal debate or informal conversation, includes two components - content and conduct. Engaging your audience through humor, eye contact, and gestures goes a long way toward swaying the judge to your position and to winning debates.
We wish everyone in DebateAble's world a Happy New Year, and we look forward to engaging with you more in 2016.