Communication may seem like an easily achieved task, but very few students are taught to correspond with respect, maturity, and grace. Not only that, “being able to communicate with others in a clear, confident, and concise way is a skill that you’ll use all your life.” High school debate students may be required to give an oral presentation or have a college interview, and all jobs require formal interviews. Debate students will enter the next stages of life with ease due to the communication training they received in high school.
In an age of smartphone and technology addiction, it is extremely important to learn effective communication skills. These skills are honed in two ways:
- Written communication: debate students are trained to strategize their research in an effective way. Debaters must be able to organize, create, control, and present a valid argument. The only way a debater’s message will come across strongly is through persuasive writing.
- Oral Communication: Having influential writing skills are not enough to win over an audience. Debaters must also possess strong presentation and public speaking abilities. Everything from a timeline, tones of voice, hand gestures, to empathetic pleas are essential for coming out victorious in a competition.
Communication is also a key element in conflict resolution. It allows debaters to respectfully enter discussions and disagreements. Even if debaters have completely different worldviews, many come out of tournaments having made lifelong friendships. Debaters are trained to view tournaments as a positive competitive speech experience. Because high school students are equipped with strong listening skills, they are able to fully understand their opponent’s viewpoint and communicate with a rebuttal in a courteous manner.
Debaters understand that constructive arguments are a cornerstone of life. They are able to take that understanding with them through high school, college, the workplace, and beyond.