How to Win a BP Debate

Coach Mike
Post by Coach Mike
How to Win a BP Debate

If you're reading this, you already know what a BP debate is and how it works. So now all that's left is know how to win one.

Simple, right? Well, not exactly. If you've ever been in a debate competition, you'll know there's no single method that will guarantee 100% success. Luckily, even though there will always be a few debates where your opponents come out on top, there are a good number of strategies that can help you maximize your chances.

The best way to win a BP debate is to come prepared. So let's take a look at how to get started long before you actually get into the room to start debating.

Preparing to Win a BP Debate

Preparation is key in all forms of debate, but some people may think it is less important for BP debates since the topics are not given in advance. That's absolutely not the case!

There is a lot you can do to prepare for BP debates ahead of time. You can read a breakdown of potential topic types here. As for strategies to prepare for these topics...

Follow Current Events

Be curious about the world. Make it a habit to log onto news websites every day and read the news or at least skim the headlines.

As you may recall from the linked article, a large proportion of BP debate topics are based on news events or require a decent understanding of current affairs. Your chances of winning a debate will be much higher if you understand the real-world context of a topic or the reason it has been chosen for debate.

This doesn't mean you have to spend an hour a day reading the news. Just stay aware of what's going on in the world around you. And the best thing is that this will help you be an informed citizen in all walks of life, not just debate!

Hone Your Communication Skills

The LearningLeaders Research Institute has spent months collecting data from hundreds of rounds of BP debates to find out which skills are most likely to give you the win. According to this research, the top 4 most important skills are rebutting comprehensively, weighing impacts, contextualizing and framing, and building relevant arguments.

To learn more about how this research was done, check out the data here. And for help developing these skills, LearningLeaders has perfected the art of coaching speech and debate. Compare some of our programs or try a free trial class!

Keep a Debate Notebook

Get hold of a physical notebook, use a note-taking application, or even keep a folder. You can use it to record useful content in one place, from articles and schoolwork with relevant information to feedback from your last debate competition.

Writing things down improves your memory and will make sure your preparation is as effective as possible for your next debate.

Watch Yourself Debate

There's no point to simply knowing how to debate if you aren't putting your knowledge into practice. But how do you make sure you're really implementing the skills you've been learning?

Recording your debates is one of the simplest and most effective ways of improving at competitive debate. Set up your webcam or your phone and pull up a BP debate motion — you can start with examples from this list. Give yourself 15 minutes to prepare, a minute to compose yourself, and then record your speech. Watching it back will give you valuable insights on your performance and areas to improve.

In the LearningLeaders classroom, you'll not only have your debates recorded, but you'll also get invaluable feedback from your peers and coaches. All of these strategies will give you the best chance of winning your next BP debate tournament.

Check out our BP competitions for upcoming BP debate opportunities!


Coach Mike
Post by Coach Mike