On Saturday 23 August and Sunday 24 August, the annual debating Impromptu Cup was held at St Kentigern College. Macleans had 3 teams of 2 attending, one of which made it to the quarter finals.
The style of debating was very different from normal debates – teams only had 5 minutes to prepare their argument after choosing out of 2 moots, and 5 minutes of speaking time per person. This required teams to think quickly and collaboratively in order to construct a good argument.
The idea of having such a short preparation time was extremely daunting at the start, but everyone quickly grew accustomed to the time pressure and was surprised at how fast they were able to think on their feet. Although initially there were doubts, everyone comfortably made it to 5 minutes and even had extra points to say.
By the end of it, everyone agreed that this had been an extremely useful and memorable experience, as our newly developed skills of impromptu speaking has allowed us all to become more confident, focused, and efficient for future debates. We encourage all debaters to attend this tournament in the future, as you will definitely see a drastic improvement in your debating skills.
The most important lesson learnt that day: Debates and speeches are completely different things. Although this may seem challenging, taking short notes or bullet points instead of attempting to write out your whole speech is by far a better approach in debating. For all the aspiring debaters out there, take this risk because I guarantee you will see a huge difference.
By Helen Cao.