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Iris and Sabrina: The application of debate in real-world scenarios for young people

Learn more about their interest in debate and how debate skills helped pave a path towards a well-prepared, successful future in both public speaking and day-to-day life.
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Two of our students share their experiences with debate and hope to inspire younger students to take a chance with public speaking!

Learn more about their interest in debate and how debate skills helped pave a path towards a well-prepared, successful future in both public speaking and day-to-day life.


Meet Iris: 


1. Why did you decide to join debating?

I’ve been interested in debate after my friends recommended me to it, and after watching multiple other debates. I enjoyed writing and public speaking for a long time, and debate enabled a chance for that.


2. What has been your favorite part of debate so far?

I love the overall experience of getting to debate and speak in front of other people, even though it’s nerve racking sometimes. It also allows interactions with others that share the same interests as you, who are also striving towards becoming better debaters, and allows you to learn so much from them. 

I feel more confident speaking in front of other people, and I'm not as shy as before. Prepared rounds also allow you to research and learn much about the community that I wouldn’t have known without debate, and the experience itself is worth it in the end, and is something I wouldn't have gotten to know if I haven't joined debate.


3. What are you looking forward to most this debate season?

I’m interested in becoming better at speaking in front of audiences, and going to more tournaments with Sabrina. I want to eventually qualify for nationals in the future.


4. How do you feel that your debate skills will help you in the future?

[Debate skills] could help with how I interact with others, and can improve my public speaking in the future. It could also help my confidence later when I have to find a job or speak in front of audiences. It can also help my confidence in trying out new things.


5. Do you have any advice for students who are hesitant to join debate or public speaking? Why should they consider debating?

It depends on whether “hesitant” to join is as in they want to join, but they aren’t doing it due to personal fears, or if it means they don’t want to join debate. 

If you are afraid to join debate or speech because you aren’t confident about public speaking or are afraid of losing rounds, you should remember that you won’t achieve something if you don’t work towards it, despite the roadblocks. 

After you learn debate or public speaking for a long enough time, the experience makes it worth it, no matter how scary it could seem at first. You won’t be the only people who are nervous– your opponents will be, too, because everyone is at first– and even if you lose an important round, it’s better to learn from it rather than avoid it by not even trying for it in the first place. 

Debating helps you interact with so many other people, and learn from them as well. You can experience speaking in front of people ahead of time, the way you will in the future, and can improve your critical thinking. 

Most importantly, it ends up worth it in the end, when you win rounds or achieve goals you’ve worked towards. 


Meet Sabrina:


1. Why did you decide to begin debating?

I decided to begin because my parents really wanted me to and I had a lot of older friends who enjoyed debating. I also wanted to join because I enjoy arguing, not yelling– there’s a difference, and speaking, and since debate incorporated all of those elements, I was really looking forward to it as well.


2. What has been your favourite part of debate so far?

It’s hard to say. I genuinely enjoy debating, and all of it is thrilling and terrifying. I’d say I enjoy brainstorming the points the most and I also enjoy the awards ceremony, since it’s like the moment I finally can de-stress after the thrill and stress of the debate itself. 


3. What are you most looking forward to during this debate season?

I’m looking forward to debating more with Iris and improving my debate skills as well as overcoming my nervous habits.

How do you feel that your debate skills will help you in the future?

If I decide to go into politics, which I highly doubt, [debate skills] would be useful. However this could definitely help my speaking in everyday situations or public speaking. It also has the potential to greatly improve my speech/writing structure.


5. Do you have any advice for students who are hesitant to join debate or public speaking? Why should they consider debating?

I would recommend them to try, but they could always back out if they’re not comfortable. I feel like they should give it a chance. It took me every Saturday for a few months to learn CNDF (debate style) and other tips, but it was so worth it. 

In the end, it benefits you the most, and you make lifelong friends from it sometimes as well! Debating helps you become way more persuasive and recently I’ve been seeing debate in a lot of things. Weird example, but how I answer homework questions. I SEXI them, just like debate. (SEXI is an acronym used to structure speeches).

I genuinely enjoy debate, and I hope any aspiring would-be debaters will too!



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