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What Makes a Great Debater

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When analyzing the four students on the debate team at Wiley College, I learned they had a great deal of power through their work while using public speaking as a means to rally, motivate and inspire people. The students learned how to research, to evaluate sources, to articulate arguments clearly, and to use words as a weapon. As I speak about the team members my main focus will be on how well they maintained eye contact, voice and posture, nonverbal communication, tone and how well the audience received them. There were four students on the debate team, three males and one female.

Their presentations and materials help the team command the attention of their audience. Samantha Booke was the only female to serve on the debate team. During her first debate, she was somewhat nervous, fidgeting with her hands, some distractions from audience walking and talking when deliberating her speech. However Samantha remained great eye-contact, good posture and spoke clearly and stated facts. She became strong in her debate and even a little emotional. As she continued to practice she became more confident in her speeches.

Henry Lowe one of the most dominate speakers on the team gives a great and emotional performance (speech). He seems to be torn between his emotional and rational impulses. He always remained eye-contact and even used hand gestures to get the audience to focus, and this showed in their attention to him when listening to his speech. Henry was very strong in his debate and spoke clearly. Hamilton Burgess one of the strongest debaters had great eye-contact, strong voice and repeated hand motions when speaking to deliver his message. However he had to quit the team as his father requested, which left the team with one less team member.

During his absence the other team members became more focus and willing to become strong in their debate (speeches) by practing and preparing to do their best to keep this from being a disadvantage to the team. James Farmer Jr. the youngest of the debaters seemed to be a bright student. The passion in his speech was of particular importance, he attracted the audience attention with a personal story by helping them realize if they had to walk in his shoes seeing a person being lynched. He soon had the audience attention filled with emotions by stating facts, using great eye-contact to draw in his audience.

He was serious with calmness in his voice. He used his knowledge and emotions to help win the last debate. All of the team members delivered their arguments with emotional quality. Their tones and body language strengthen their presentations where as they all engaged their audience. I believe all the team members were effective in their speeches by conveying their point of views in their messages. My advice to some of the team members would be to prepare and practice and to relax while visualizing success to overcome nervous.

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