Tatiana Tutor’s – The Art of Debate

In honor of our upcoming workshop “Debate During Spring Break” I’ve decided to give 5 tips that would share the art of debate and the benefits it has on long-term success in both writing, reading, and communicating. While in middle school and high school, I participated heavily in speech competitions, both extemporaneous and prepared presentations. I learned how to take a topic and come up with an argument in a short amount of time. With this constant exposure, I realized I became a better writer, reader, and strategic thinker. As someone who had to prepare speeches and edit my work constantly when I competed in professional competitions, you learn about your writing skills and how important details and articulation are to success in providing valid arguments and statements to a panel of judges at a competition. The rush I received while competing was incredible and I would definitely recommend high school students and middle school students starting early on the road to competition and friendly debate. Below I have 5 tips on how to prepare, learn, and understand an art form that is becoming even more increasingly popular due to high demand.

5 Reasons Debate is Important for Lower, Middle, and Upper School Students”

1. By participating in Debate, your child is learning about the art of persuasion. When you exposure your children to any sort of extracurricular activity that requires constant critique and communication, they are incresingly exposed to learning about others and how to communicate. Being able to persuade successfully is a key skill needed in today’s ever changing technical world, and your child will be ahead of the game in that regard.

2. Students benefit from getting first-hand experience working on public speaking skills. As we know, communication is key to success in any field of study. As a Communications major, not only do I have to be able to write effectively with great grammar and content, but I have to be able to communicate my thoughts in many work-related situations. As your child grows older, they will eventually gain an internship, their first job, or they will have to communicate with teachers, advisers, and eventually college admissions representatives. Being able to communicate and articulate well will be both beneficial and give them a great deal of advantage over students who lack those needed skills. 3. Sometimes, the best debating technique is not to debate at all. When I actually read this quote once I realized that debate/communication can happen in the most unlikeliest of places. Especially in classrooms, sports, and extracurricular activities. Students are engaged in speaking, whether with friends or in a formal setting, and just being able to articulate their stance on issues concerning day-to-day activities is a beginning step to learning how to formulate, research, and present it in a way that can cross boundaries, not just for judges, but for professional settings as well.

4. Students learn about Memorization. As your child gets older they are going to participate in spelling bees, school plays, or have to present a science project. Being able to memorize and remember key details is crucial to building research, strategic thinking, and presentation skills. Memorization can bring on an extreme amount of anxiety. First, you have to establish your child’s stance on public speaking. If they seem comfortable in front of a group, you can proceed to learning about memorization and helping them retain large amounts at a time. If you know that your child is shy and has an immense amount of displeasure with crowds and stages, you should encourage them to audition for a school play, choir, or play sports. Exposing them to different types of people and forms of communication, whether it be through movement, song, or word play, will allow them to gain trust and comfort in their own abilities; making memorization more realistic to them in the future.

5. Attending a Debate, Speech Competition, or Public Speaking Workshop. In 2007, Denzel Washington showcased a movie, The Great Debaters, which chronicles the struggles of an all-black debate team fighting to be the best in the country; eventually winning against the undefeated all-white team at Harvard. This movie is based on the story at Wiley College about the first-ever all black undefeated debate team. While Denzel Washington shines and showcases his directing chops, the inspiration comes from the three main young characters Nate Parker, Jermaine Williams, and Jurnee Smollett, who showcase incredible talents as the students struggling for justice in an unjust time. I understand that parents have a hard time taking children to debate, speech competitions, or public speaking workshops, but just being able to have a movie night and learn about debate from an all-star cast is just as great. This movie is not only inspirational, is is also a great way to plug Black History Month into your list of events to expose your children too. Just being able to see how someone can take words and apply  passion to create a valid argument is not only beautiful, but it shows how much the things we say are important in the world. I definitely think you should expose children to different facets of life, they will be well-versed and ready for the amount of twists and turns that lie ahead in the coming years.

I think the workshop on debate will not only be informational, but it will provide a key component of writing, reading, editing, and thinking strategically about the way we speak and how we can be more articulate and better communicators in our everyday life. We will tackle subjects that are fit for middle, elementary, and high school students, and each person will learn how to take thoughts and subscribe them to something that will eventually be a competition at the end of the workshop. As an example of great debate tactics and tips, I will preview parts of the movie that showcases the strengths and weaknesses in debates, that are suitable for young adults. I hope that this amount of information did not overwhelm you. I believe this workshop is not only necessary in ever-changing technical bubble, but it will be a fun day to learn about communication and how we can improve on something crucial to everyday life.

Interested in Partcipating? Let Us Know…info@4RIISE.org

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