Debate: 5 Lessons I learnt From Debating at High School

Writer: Wessim Bouzazi ,17
Contributor: Yassin Brahmi, 17

It all begins with the Young Arab Voices, a compelling DEBATE program that is widespread in the MENA-Region, including Tunisia. The adventure also began together with an awe-inspiring, breathtaking team.


Since the foundation of Ghardimaou’s debating club, the team’s ambition and desire to shine and contribute to the debating world got bigger. With every step we take, with every training we receive, with every motion we debate, we are one step closer to perfecting our debating skills.

Final Round: Jendouba Debate Festival 2017

Although the things you learn from debating are infinite, I’ll mention five basic values that encompass debating and that helped our team pull off the solid challenges we were given.

1 — Teamwork

- A team that is not flexible and supple is no team. If you want to win a debate, if you want to be as convincing as possible, harmony and teamwork are an obligation. That’s how it works. ‘’Teamwork divides the task, multiplies the success’’. That’s how it works in debating: If the whole team fulfills the tasks and promises they deliver, you win the case. Thus, teamwork is mandatory for a constructive debate.

2 — Importance of research

The things you learn at school do not necessarily help with debating, that is why research is important. You do not always get to debate motions that you have full understanding of, and even if you do, I assure you, you won’t have enough information about. For instance, statistics and proof are an important phase/part of an argument, so, you can’t simply make up numbers and names and use them, right? Neil Armstrong said: ‘’Research is creating new knowledge’’, so rest assured you will get to know something new when you do your research.

3 — Commitment

Since the creation of the debating club in our school, I personally didn’t miss a single session. Physical presence is not enough, because commitment is not just about being there. It is the willingness to give your time and energy to something you are passionate about. Tony Robbins said: ‘’ the only limit to your impact is your commitment’’. Thus, if you want to project your voice through debating EFFECTIVELY, your commitment to debating sessions is vital.

4- Out of the comfort zone

If you watched a debate before but never debated, you’d think it’s pretty easy. Well, you’re wrong ! I remember the first time I had a debate. Although I prepared well for the motion, I didn’t feel well at all, delivering a speech in front of a jury, other debaters and an audience ! It was so hard that I nearly quit in the last moments; but with a lot of encouragement from my lovely trainer and a little motivation I was able to debate. Debating will teach you to be brave. So, don’t be afraid !

5- Competitiveness

- Debating is all about competing, is it not? It is competing to prove a point, competing within the limits of keeping respect and esteem, competing to win the debate and an engagement to a contest. Well, the biggest competition is oneself. It is not all about competing and contending to win a debate, it is also about testing one’s boundaries.

‘’ Debating clubs are very useful, not only as affording pleasant meetings and interesting discussions, but also as serving for training grounds for developing the knowledge and the qualities that are needed in public life. ‘’ — Annie Besant