12 January 2009Dear Father PathickalCongratulations!I am delighted to inform you that your school has successfully qualified for theNational Finals of the Debating Matters India competition. The National Finals will beheld in the British Council New Delhi office from 15-17 January 2009
For moreinformation regarding the National Finals kindly refer the attached timetableregarding the timings of the pre debate programmes and the debate timings.The National Finals will have the eight winning teams from different regions divided ingroups of two, who in turn are placed in subcategories of the same group therebyhaving two teams in each sub group.Each school will participate in the preliminary debate which is the first round of theNational Finals. The topic for your school is “Free speech is not an absolute right” thedebate team will have to speak “for” the motion.Following the preliminary round the teams will move on to the Semi Final debateswhere the sub group winners will debate each. The semi final winner of one groupwill then compete with the semi final winner of the other group in the finals of theNational finals for bagging the India Champions position.The India champions will travel to UK to participate in the Debating Matters UK Finalsin the month of July, 2009Following the regional finals we would like to offer the Finalists some tips of our own:-
Go through your speeches before the debates and work as a team
decide upon a clear division of labour between speakers, setting out who willbe dealing with which aspects of the debate. Your argument will be moreeffective if it is consistent with your partners! It was also noted that studentssometimes failed to act as a team, with one speaker dominating thediscussion. Debates work best when teams have a coordinated responseand balance content between one another.
Listen to one another:
all of the teams reported that debaters, and theaudience, often failed to listen to one another during the debates andtherefore sometimes missed some of the key arguments. Taking the debateseriously means listening, and then responding, to the comments offered bythe judges to
sides, by challenges laid out by your opponents and theaudience.
Consider the Political and Social context of each of the debate:
all of the Regional teams reported that some of discussions tended to get boggeddown by the more technical aspects of the debate. All of the DebatingMatters motions are chosen because they reflect arguments that are beinghad in the real world, you must therefore make sure that you are familiar withthe contemporary nature of the discussion (read newspapers!) andunderstand why it is politically significant.