Things You'll Need:
KNOW YOUR SUBJECT
A good debater learns and knows what he/she is talking about. Make sure you spend time in research and review. You cannot afford to be sloppy in a debate. Your strongest points should be argued with clarity and conviction.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT'S ARGUMENTS
Research on the likely points your opponent might use. Get strong counter-arguments to those points. Great debaters outlearn their opponents so they can use what their opponents have to defeat them.
USE SHORT, POWERFUL STORIES TO START YOUR POINTS
People love stories and they adore great storytellers. Get a great story for your point of view and deliver it well. Make your audience a part of your presentation. Appeal to their sense of decency, value and humanity.
THINK ON YOUR FEET
When you encounter a brilliant opponent, you might be thrown a curveball. Your reaction to your opponent's points can make or break your likelihood of winning. Use brief and humorous phrases to tone down or erase the impact of your opponent's strategy.
BE COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT
Let your audience and judges feel your passion for the subject. A debater has to be an orator as well. Your ability to capture the attention of the audience will pay in the end.
GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT
Incorrect statistics and wrong dates can provide an opening to your opponent. Get everything in order and cross-checked. Come to the debate with the certainty that you are arguing with the right facts.
BE CLEAR WITH YOUR PRESENTATION
A debate is a conversation with a lot of structure. Incomplete sentences will be translated into incomplete ideas. This can weaken a strong argument. Pronunciation, pitch and enunciation is critical to this step.