How to Debate

Colm's On-line Debating Tutorial:


These are the training handouts which I wrote a couple of years ago, in my capacity as Speaker Development Officer, in order to train the Maiden Speakers of the University of Limerick. They are by no means the ultimate guide to debating. In fact since I wrote them I have changed my mind about certain aspects and just have not had the time to re-write them. If you wish to use or reproduce these feel free but please credit me as the source and I would appreciate an e-mail to let me know that you are using them, in what capacity and what response/suggestions you might have.

Also note that these are for British Parliamentary style of debating. While this is very different to American, Canadian, Australian, etc. styles it is the style that Worlds Council voted in 1996 to accept as the standard for all Future World Championships. While this may have been a "controversial" decision I hope these guidelines may give assistance to Worlds speakers who have never experienced British Parliamentary Style before. However, once again, I would not consider these adequate on their own. Experience is invaluable.


General Rules and Guidelines to debating.

Speaking Order in a Debate

Researching your motion

Structure of a Speech

Speaking style

Points of Information

World Debating Championships, Adjudication Criteria

Irish Times Adjudication Criteria

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