Tips on Improving Public Speaking & Competitive Debate Skills at Home (Part II)

Coach Cookie
Post by Coach Cookie
Tips on Improving Public Speaking & Competitive Debate Skills at Home (Part II)

Topics for Practicing at Home

We hope you enjoyed Part I of this blog series! If you haven't got a chance to read it yet you can do so here: Tips on Improving Public Speaking & Competitive Debate Skills at Home (Part I).

In this series of articles, you will be able to learn about:

  • Steps on how to help students build a habit of practicing at home
  • Topics that can help students practice
  • How to understand and track a student's progression

After setting a clear practice plan, the next question is: what to practice? After listening to a podcast program together, what questions should be asked? When helping the students to practice speech, what topics/prompts should be used? Here are some ideas you can refer to (when using these topics, encouraging the students to think from both sides and different perspectives!):


For G5-7:

Should everyone go to college?

Should students wear school uniforms?

Should students bring phones to school?

Are e-books better than paper books?

Should exams be abolished?

For G8-12:

Should college tuition be free?

Are same-sex colleges beneficial?

What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college?

Should teachers get tenure?

Should college entrance exams be banned?


For G5-7:

Does globalization bring more harm or benefits?

How to help underprivileged people?

Should gay marriage be legal?

What is the best way to achieve racial equality?

Should homemakers and mothers be paid for housework?

For G8-12:

Should the governments pay reparations to the descendants of slaves?

What is homonormativity? Is it more beneficial or harmful for the gay rights movement?

Should people allow to sell their votes?

Should companies set certain quotas for female leaders?

Does global urbanization lead primarily to undesirable consequences?


For G5-7:

How to prevent potential crimes?

Should human cloning be legalized?

Should parents be punished less than people who do not have children?

How to protect victims from domestic abuse?

For G8-12:

Should euthanasia be legalized?

Should the death penalty be abolished?

What is the most important thing in the criminal justice system?

Should felons be allowed to vote?

Should people be banned from naming and shaming alleged perpetrators of crimes on social media?


For G5-7:

What is the best way to save the planet?

Should zoos be banned?

Should all people become vegetarian?

Should fuel-run vehicles be banned?

Should disposable diapers be banned?

For G8-12:

Should offshore drilling be banned?

Is climate change already irreversible?

Should companies be taxed on their carbon emissions and other negative environmental impacts?

Should genetically modified foods (GMOs) be banned?

Will nuclear energy bring more harm or benefits?


For G5-7:

Will AI bring more harm or benefits?

Will technology make people more intelligent?

What the future looks like?

Will robots increase people's quality of life?

Will humans colonize another planet soon?

For G8-12:

Will AI bring more harm or benefits?

Should individuals own their DNA?

Should we invest more money into space exploration?

Should the language of coding be taught as a major?

Should scientists experiment with cloning/genetic engineering for medical purposes?


For G5-7:

How to be healthy?

Should vaccination be mandatory?

Does globalization promote universal healthcare?

Should healthcare services for all citizens be fully funded by the government?

Should smoking be banned in all public places?

For G8-12:

Should there be criminal responsibility for medical errors?

Should surrogate pregnancy be used on-demand or only for health reasons?

Should marijuana/drugs be legalized?

Should T.V. commercials for alcohol/fast-food chains be banned?

Should animals be used to test drugs?


For G5-7:

Should minimum wage be implemented?

Should there be a mandatory retirement age?

Should working from home be the new standard?

Should rich people and large corporations pay more taxes?

Is saving money important? How to save money?

For G8-12:

Should Bitcoin be recognized as a currency?

Fair Trade or Free Trade?

Should the governments bail out failing financial institutions?

Is monopoly a good thing or a bad thing?

Should churches pay taxes?


For G5-7:

Should politics be kept out of schools?

Is voting important? Should it be mandatory?

Is it necessary for a political leader to be active on social media?

Is patriotism a good thing?

Is taxation excellent or bad?

For G8-12:

Should more gun control laws be enacted?

Is freedom of speech a necessity in a functional society?

Is the U.S. voting system democratic?

Should illegal immigrants be punished?

Should sanctuary cities receive federal funding?


For G5-7:

How to be a global citizen?

Should countries help each other?

How to deal with terrorism?

What are the impacts of wars?

Are spies cool?

For G8-12:

What can be the potential solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Should the U.S. intervene in international conflicts?

War is never justified.

Are Anonymous terrorists?

Should E.U. countries pursue a stronger assimilation policy?


For G5-7:

Is God a girl or boy?

Should famous people and other well-known public figures in our daily lives keep their faith or religion private?

What is the most important thing in life?

Are white lies good or bad?

Is it easier to love or to be loved?

For G8-12:

Should religions be banned?

Does science discredit religion?

Does free will exist, or is every action predetermined?

Should we repeal the tax-exempt status of religious institutions which do not allow women to take up leadership positions?

Trolley problem: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the sidetrack. You have two (and only two) options:

  1. Do nothing, in which case the trolley will kill the five people on the main track.
  2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which is the more ethical option? Or, more simply: What is the right thing to do?


For G5-7:

What is art?

Should offensive and inappropriate language be removed from classic literature?

Should T.V. shows or movies containing teenage suicide be banned?

Why should we celebrate different cultures?

Is peer pressure a good thing or not?

For G8-12:

Do romantic movies and books glorify an unrealistic idea of love and lead to heartbreak?

Should artists who have committed a crime to be boycotted?

Should museums return looted artifacts to their original countries?

How do art and culture unify people?

The impacts of "cancel culture".


For G5-7:

At what age should children be allowed to be on social media?

Should schools be responsible for teaching safe social media education?

Do online friendships have the same benefits as in-person friendships?

What should the punishment be for cyberbullying?

Are social media influencers beneficial or harmful to society?

For G8-12:

What are the most reliable, unbiased sources to receive news and information?

Will social media do more benefits or harm to social movements?

Should the U.S. have Net Neutrality Laws?

What are the impacts of tabloids?

Does advertising cause more harm or benefits?

There are a lot of topics for students to practice, not only News-related, debate, or public speaking-related. You can find a lot of topics even in daily life and ask the students random questions, just like an impromptu/extemporaneous prompt, or a debate motion. For example, when watching a reality show, you can generalize things and ask, "why reality shows exist"? Or something like "do you feel it is good for people"?

If you’re a LL student who want to dive deeper into those themes, please feel free to download our monthly theme-based magazine on the LL platform.

Keep reading for Part III & IV below!

Part III: Give Feedback as A Parent

Part IV: Track Progression

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Coach Cookie
Post by Coach Cookie