Communication has always been one of the crucial life skills that aids people in all aspects of their lives, be it personal or professional. Communication plays a key role in sustaining collaborations and building a strong profile for the professional world. Building good communication skills should be a cornerstone for every education system as it not only prepares students for the future, but it also enables them to be confident and gain an edge in the world of work.
Some of the fun and fruitful ways of developing communication skills are honing one’s debating, presentation, public speaking skills etc., that act as effective tools for youngsters to become future leaders. Apart from it being just fun, debating (which encompasses many aspects of public speaking) offers a lot of value for a youngster’s growth.
At Sai University (SaiU), active learning is a critical component of our multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary education system that allows students to gradually develop their communication skills, critical thinking capabilities, research skills, among others. SaiU positions itself as a proud bearer of unique teaching methodologies that aim to instill the above-mentioned life skills and much more to students.
Keeping SaiU’s unique education model as the foundation, War of Words, our very first international interschool debate competition, was created. The preliminary round of the event saw robust participation of 38 students from 13 schools in India and 3 schools in UAE. Students debated it out on all aspects of the theme and covered a variety of topics like climate change, public water utilities, indiscriminate tourism among others.
As we relish the victory of War of Words, here are a few reasons as to why debating helps students in the long run:
Boosts critical thinking skills
Debates urge students to evaluate a subject matter and look at it from different perspectives. It also lets them evaluate a viewpoint that appeals more to them and develop a rationale to back it up. As a result, instead of passive intake of information, they engage with a topic and think about it in a constructive manner.
Fosters strong communication skills
Debates enhance the oral communication skills of students. Their language, vocabulary, delivery, and diction will improve, and they will also learn to put forth points in a succinct fashion. Debates encourage students to listen and articulate their thoughts effectively.
Any public speaking activity will enrich a student with self-confidence. Presenting well thought-out views in front of an audience will imbibe confidence and self-respect. Debating encourages students to think for themselves which in turn makes them strong spokespersons of their well-informed opinions.
Develops collaborative team skills
Good debates inspire youngsters to work in teams seamlessly and collaborate effectively for optimum results. Despite having opposing views, they learn to treat opponents with respect and understanding thereby enabling a perfect exchange of ideas.
Enhances knowledge base
To be able to effectively argue a stance in a debate, it is imperative to research and gather evidence and data to support one’s opinion. Therefore, debates require a lot of reading and investigation, which allows students to access crucial information that will enrich their knowledge base and prepare for cross-questioning or rebuttal. Researching also teaches reading habits and encourages a student to keep themselves abreast of relevant happenings on that subject.