• Great Debaters Virtual Competition - 2020

    Saturday 27th June on Zoom

    10.30 am - 5.30 pm

  • Overview



    Debates will be presided over by a panel of judges with spectators only invited to watch the Grand Final



    All speaker teams debate at least three times with the top two teams progressing to contest the Grand final


    Mixed format

    Each debate will have its own format ranging from impromptu arguments to research-intensive debates


    All on Zoom

    The same Zoom meeting will be used for the entire day with debates taking place in breakout rooms

  • Breakdown of each round


    Researched debate

    The motion for this debate and the side each team is on will be announced 2 weeks in advance with no additional prep time allowed on the day.


    Each speaker will have 5 minutes to make their opening arguments and 2 minutes to make their closing arguments. The judges will ask questions during a short Q&A, then decide the winner and offer their feedback at the end of the debate.


    Impromptu arguments

    Instead of a single debate motion, teams will be presented with six individual arguments that they will have to either defend or refute. There will be no prep time (clue is in the name).


    Each speaker will go head to head with their counterpart on the other side to debate three arguments and they will have 1.5 minutes to speak per argument. There will be no Q&A with judges deliberating and offering their feedback to each of the speakers at the end of the debate.


    Traditional debate

    The motion for this debate and the side each team is on will be announced before the round begins with teams given 15 minutes to prepare.

    The catch in this round is that each debate will be contested by four teams (2 for and 2 against).

    Teams on the same side will have to defend the same position and support each other, yet will also be competing with each other for 1st place in the debate (and a place in the Grand Final).


    Each speaker will have 5 minutes to make their case and will also be expected to take at least ONE point of information (PoI) or question from the other side during their speech. There will be no Q&A with the judges, who will deliberate and offer their feedback at the end of the debate.


    Grand Final

    The motion for this debate and the side each team is on will be announced before the round begins with teams given 30 minutes to prepare.

    Since spectators will be invited to watch this debate, we will use the same format as the club's public debates at the Tea House Theatre.


    The first speaker on each side will have 6 mins to open the debate with the second speakers given three opportunities to respond to each other in shorter 1.5 minute impromptu arguments.


    The floor will be handed to the audience for a 20-minute Q&A with the speakers, followed by a 3-minute closing speech by one speaker on each side and an audience vote, which will be largely symbolic, before the judges deliver their verdict.

  • Watch the Grand Final public debate

  • Judging criteria


    Did you address the relevant points?

    Did you offer more than one argument?

    How well were those arguments made?


    Was it easy to hear and understand you?

    Was it easy to follow the points you made?

    Was your style memorable and engaging?


    Did you comment on the other side's position?

    Did you address the best of their arguments?

    Did you address the points raised in questions?


    Did you organise points in order of importance?

    Did you provide a framework for analysing arguments?

    Was the connection between each of your points clear?

All Posts
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