Helpful tips for debating
1. If they are personally
attacking your character and they are wrong about
your character realize the debate is over.
They have already decided that
you are a bad person and therefore they do not have to listen to anything you say. They need to attack a policy
or law or idea, not your character. They are attacking your character, if they do this the correct response toward them is
"you are a mean person for slandering me with a baseless allegation" and walk away.
2. You cannot fight a ghost arguement.
Make them give you a policy
or law they want to change that you both can put on the table and talk about. You cannot fight an arguement that has no enemy
we can fight. A policy is something we can fight. Blanket statements about everyone is this or that with no solution is not
3. Make them give you stats, facts, reasons, and evidence.
This should be obvious but lots of people don't have stats to back up their story. Make them give you stats, and
defend their position. Sometimes they can't and they can bury themselves. Always research your topic. Be ready.
4. Reframe the debate question.
people want their debate to be about a certain issue. Reframe their line of thinking into another topic. Example:
"My work should be giving me free stuff". You reply "What makes you think stealing is ok? Someone has to pay
for that. Do you think stealing is ok" They think the arguement is about how the work wronged them and what they deserve.
You make the arguement about stealing from others.
5. Spot inconsistancies with their arguement.
Force them to be consistant.
6. Force them to answer the question.
Remind them they have not answered your question. Lots of people like asking questions they don't like
answering questions. That is because that means they have to do the thinking. Many people are good at feeling things
not thinking things. Most of the time they have not answered cause they can't.
Stay on topic.
Don't get distracted. Example: You are talking about Kansas.
Them "But Missouri is just as bad." You "We can disscuss Missori in a minute, we are talking about Kansas right
now." Sometimes they have no solution, they just want to feel that the other side is no better.
They also want to distract you to a different topic so they can avoid answering the question directly.
8. Realize who you are debating for.
Sometimes the debater has already
made up their mind or they are not listening. Sometimes you have other people listening in that have not made up their
mind about the issue. Your debate is not lost if someone else is listening. You also might not change someone's mind
right away. Most people can't change a lifelong belief in 2 minutes. You might be setting a seed for them to think about
the issue some more. And with other people they encounter, you might be one of many arguements over time they hear that makes
them change their mind later.
9. Defend yourself, you don't have to defend other
Defend your own beliefs. Just cause someone in your group does something
or believes something that doesn't mean that is you.
10. Its ok to admit you don't know.
Tell them "I wasn't aware of that, I will research it and get back to you." It is not a weakness.
Many people get themselves into trouble trying to debate things they know nothing about.
If you are looking defensive or you look like you are not listening
you probably aren't. Folding arms is a sign of defensiveness, Pointing is a sign of aggression, and high anxiety could
set the other person off. It could make a level 3 intensity arguement go to a level 7 fast. You don't always have
to have a loud voice, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.
Don't debate only because you feel angry.
Facts don't care about your feelings.
Have some evidence not just feelings. Just cause you feel wronged doesn't mean you were wronged. Just because
someone dissagrees with you, that does not mean they don't care. Some people want the feelings to be the
issue and they will use that everytime.
13. Be a good listener.
Don't just wait to talk. Listen to what they are saying. You can't know how to rebut
to them if you don't know what they said. Unfortunatly this forces you to think fast. It will get easier the more
you do it.
14. Sometimes your wrong.
There are a lot of "Blamers" in the world. They blame everyone else for their problems. Think critically
about the situation before you debate it. You may be the one in the wrong.