Do you want your child to be a great orator? Imparting and improving debating skills in her will go a long way in making her a distinguished speaker.
By Ashwin Lobo
12-year-old Priya is a student at a prominent school in Bengaluru. In her public speaking class, her tutor assigns her a tricky topic for debate and asks her to speak for the motion. The topic of the debate is, 'Parents should restrict children from going outside alone in the evenings'. She sets out her two main arguments and calmly sticks to her guns as her classmates pepper her with questions. Having started at the age of ten, Priya is already one of the best debaters in the class and receives a word of praise from her tutor when the session finishes.
Debating is an activity in which arguments are put forth by two sides with opposing view points on a singular topic. Depending on the competition, each side may either comprise a team or an individual speaker. Debates are usually formal in nature and are governed by a set of rules which usually allow for questions and rebuttals. The speakers are judged based on a number of criteria that include analysis, clarity, delivery and enunciation. One might think that the mark of a good debater is excellent speaking skills, but listening is equally important. Debaters must be able to keenly listen to their opponents' points and thereafter come up with a suitable response, on the spot.
All children should be encouraged to participate in debating and, ideally, they should start young. This is because the activity of debating imparts many valuable skills to young minds that will be of use to them even beyond school and college. Some of the benefits of debating are:
Encouraging your child to debate regularly will hone his speaking skills and do wonders for his confidence. However, a lot of children experience stage-fright to a certain extent when they are called upon to speak publicly. As a parent, here are some things you can do to eliminate this phobia in your child, improve his confidence and make him a great debater.
Debating in school is a sure-shot way of making your child an accomplished orator. The skills that a child picks up while debating will be of great help to him not just in his career but also in his everyday interactions. So encourage him to debate often and watch as he grows up to be a confident and coherent adult.
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