Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.4 Participation in discussions, debates or negotiations is appropriate to the purpose and topic. Participation is consistent with the formality of procedures and contributes to meaningful interaction between participants.

ryanrori December 28, 2020

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“ Change is scientific, progress is ethical, and change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy”.

                                                                             Bertrand Russel.

Being prepared is a useful trait for any successful communicator. If your goal is to make ideas clear to others, you must first determine what you want them to know.

Almost two hundred years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte  wrote: ’Unhappy the general who comes on the filed of battle without a system”  The same is true for debates and negotiations.

Basic principles of debating.

All issues, regardless of how abstract or whimsical they may be, can be debated.

A skilled debater should be willing and able to argue either side in a debate.

The essence of debate lies in opposition. If two sides simply talk past each other with eloquent or entertaining speeches, a debate has not occurred.

What is a debate? If you look in the dictionary you might see one of the following definitions:

•    a formal discussion

•   a consideration of issues

•    a formal presentation of contrasting ideas.

If you ask the average person they may say that a debate is an argument.

Whether you look at a debate as a discussion or an argument, a key point is the notion that it is a formal procedure. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear your best clothes, but it does mean that there are certain rules and traditions…

•    There are two sides in every debate. One side is called the Affirmative and the other side is called the Negative.

•    Every debate has a subject that is known as the resolution or the bill. For example: “Be it resolved that debate is the greatest activity.”

•    The Affirmative always promotes the resolution, while the sole job of the Negative is to disagree, or clash, with the Affirmative.

•    The role of the Affirmative is seen as more difficult because the Affirmative has fewer opportunities to win the debate. The theory here is that the principle way in which the Affirmative can win is to prove that the resolution is true. The Negative can win by attacking the issue, but can also win by attacking the Affirmative’s methods, logic, definitions, evidence, and so on. This is not to say that the Negative is safe from attacks in these areas, but it tends to be the case that the Affirmative is more vulnerable to these types of attacks.

•    As a result the Affirmative speaks first and last in any debate.