Blog Students Advice For Students 6 Tips To Help You Prepare for a Debate

6 Tips To Help You Prepare for a Debate


Nowadays, schools are bringing debate to their classrooms. This is an opportunity for students to develop critical thinking and other valuable skills for further academic pursuits.

Preparing for a debate is a mammoth task to handle. As students, we have taken part in such debates before or plan to participate in one, and the task seems daunting.

Here are some tips to help you prepare and make your argument solid and flawless.

Get acquainted with the rules


Many forget how important it is to understand the rules and format of the debate. Debate rules and steps are rigid, and if you break them, your team faces a ‘fine’ or has to forfeit.

Note that each debate type has different rules and structures, which brings us to the next point.

Understand the type of debate you are holding

[adobe stock]

The rules and formats of the various types of debates differ.

By understanding which form of debate you are taking part in, you know what to expect. This way, you are less likely to become flustered or confused.

Exclusive offer for first-time customers only!
Get 15% discount off your first lesson and no agency fees! Choose from a selection of reliable home tutors and keep learning even while at home. Claim this promotion today.

Here are the different types of debates:
Debate in Parliament
Academic Dissension
Leaders Debate
Debate on Team Policy
Debate on Cross-Examination
The Lincoln–Douglas
Spontaneous Argumentation
Constructive Dissension

Do your research


As debaters, you need to be well-read and knowledgeable of your topic.

Research allows you to find statistics, worked examples, and evidence, which is crucial information to support your point.

Be sure to also research possible arguments that your opponents might bring up. This way, you are prepared and able to counter them.

Stay on topic

[Balance Challenge]

You only have so much time, and you do not want to waste it beating around the bush right at the first point.

So instead, organise your ideas and plan them out in the preparation stage.

Then during the actual day, tell your audience your key points and only elaborate on them further when the time permits.

Practice your speech


When you practice your speech in front of others (be it your family, friends or teammates), you become more confident, learn to get used to presenting it. Ask these people for their opinions on your speech to improve on it.

Here are some questions you can ask to help improve your speech:
1. Is it clear?
2. Which areas sound messy?
3. What do you not understand?
4. What are the key points?
5. Are you convinced?

Use this opportunity to time yourself too! Make sure that it is not too short, nor does it overrun.

Be confident


It is the big day! You have your speech ready, your statistics in your hand, and is familiar with the rules.

Now the only thing left is to deliver your speech in a confident tone.

Studies show that people are more likely to believe statements produced in a confident tone than those spoken hesitantly. So make sure you stay focused and confident!



Though participating in a debate can be intimidating, with sufficient preparation, you are more prepared and have a more cohesive argument to present on the day of the debate.

We hope that this article helps you to better prepare for your debate. Good luck!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.