Why should you try out for the debate team, and what are the unique perks of this experience?

Janie Do is a captain of the KIS debate team. -Ed.

It’s that time of the year again: auditions for the debate team. The KIS forensics department offers various styles to choose fromParliamentary, Public Forum, and Lincoln Douglasso that each student is able to explore different methods of debate that best accommodates his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Why should you try out for the team, regardless of how much experience you have?

You are exposed to different viewpoints.
In so many cases, members are forced to argue against their long-standing opinions. Some have been forced to justify positions they consider intolerable in real life, be it regarding  abortion, affirmative action, or capital punishment. By doing so, debate provides an opportunity to think in the shoes of people one fervently disagrees with, and thus fosters the ability to see beyond the echo chamber of ideas one often find one’s self in. It’s a great way to gain a more rounded personality and diversified worldview. Join to broaden your scope of thinking and become a more empathetic person in general.

You garner extensive knowledge about current events.
When preparing your case for a Public Forum debate, debaters have to research for evidence that supports their arguments. In that process, he or she  will be exposed to a wide range of useful knowledge from American politics to recent technological innovations. Especially for Parliamentary debate an impromptu-style  that requires a broad awareness of current events prior to the debateone will have plenty of opportunities to brush up on current events trivia. Being knowledgeable about what is going on around the world not only helps in becoming a better global citizen, but it’ll also pay off in other classes, notably social studies.

You can grow to be an excellent public speaker.
Persuasion is an important life skill. The ability to clearly articulate your opinion and present it in a compelling manner will become useful in both the classroom and the real world, no matter what profession pursued in the future. Learn how to orally defend yourself and become a great public speaker through debate.  

You can build your resume.
This is a relatively superficial reason, but a valid one nevertheless. Because debate is an academic activity, it naturally can boost your resume as you go through various workshops and competitions. Quick thinking, effective argumentation, confident speaking are only a few of the valuable skills that will prepare you for college and beyond.

You get to join the family and make lasting connections with upperclassmen.
Debaters may seem intimidating and overly aggressive on the podium, but they are just as friendly as anyone else in real life. The forensics team is a welcoming family that will be your warmest supporters. It’s a place to build cherished relationships and memories with the upperclassmen and receive valuable advice and feedback.

Everyone interested in trying out must attend a mandatory meeting on February 27. Even for those without any prior experience, this will be a great challenge to become a better critical thinker.

– Janie Do ‘20

Featured image: KIS Forensics Department