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How to Choose a Debate Topic

March 7th, 2018 by Christine Chadwick

You're not alone if you're intimidated by the thought of your upcoming debate. In fact, for many students the idea of standing up to speak before their classmates is immobilising. One way to set yourself up for success is by choosing your debate topic wisely. Let's take a closer look at how to pick a winning debate topic.

Stick With Your Interests

When choosing a debate topic, the most important thing is that it be of interest to you. After all, you're going to invest a lot of effort into researching, writing, and preparing to debate this subject. Picking a topic you don't care about can keep you from doing your best work. Instead, try to think of an entertaining topic to which you won't mind devoting a large amount of time.

Consider the Interests of Others

It's not enough, however, to pick a fun or interesting topic. You must also pick something people care about. When considering topics, don't forget your audience. Stick with debate topics that people want to know more about. Check in with friends and family members to see which topics they find intriguing. Avoid topics that might be highly personal, as this can lead to an uncomfortable situation for speaker and audience members alike.

Additionally, take a minute to consider how comfortable you are with the topic. Will you be comfortable sharing your opinions on this subject? Are you equipped to have your viewpoint critiqued by others? If a topic is too near to your heart, it may be wise to pick something else. No matter how hot a debate gets, you need to keep a level head.

Find Supporting Evidence

Many people make the mistake of choosing a generic topic in the hopes that it will give them some wiggle room. However, this is more likely to lead to a debate without focus. Instead, zero in on one aspect of the topic. Just make sure you have sufficient background material and supporting evidence. Keep in mind that the success of your debate will largely hinge on your ability to back up your arguments with facts.

If you're still stuck, open up a periodical, turn on the news, or read your favorite news website. Current events from the local to the international level can suggest a plethora of possible debate topics. Furthermore, choosing a "hot" issue is a great way to make others think and talk.

If you've chosen the right topic, your debate is sure to be more pleasant. By picking a subject that's of interest to both you and your audience, you can feel confident while keeping audience members on the edges of their seats.

Categories: Debating