How to Make a Debate Presentation

By Kay Ireland

A proper debate involves one point, with two people or teams each taking either the positive or the negative side of that point. A debate presentation is typically an oral event, but some types of debates lend themselves well to visual presentations. Creating a visual debate presentation helps your audience remember your key points so they can make the most informed decision on the presented issue. Presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, is one way to organize your debate information.

Step 1

Begin the presentation by stating specifics on the topic. This should be posed as a question or statement on the first slide of your presentation. For instance, if you're debating the merit of school uniforms, your first slide would read along the lines of "Are Uniforms Beneficial for Students?" Keep the main point clear and concise to avoid confusing.

Step 2

State your position on the second slide. In a proper debate, you either take the affirmative or the negative position. Sometimes a position will be assigned to you; sometimes you'll be asked to make your own choice. Ensure that your audience understands your position by using text in the presentation. For instance, "School uniforms benefit students academically and socially."

Step 3

Drill your argument down to a few key points. Since you want your audience to understand and take your side, less than five points keeps your debate presentation concise but memorable. Choose strong points that demonstrate your position on the matter. In the school uniform example, persuasive points could include grades, social repercussions and monetary benefits.

Step 4

Gather evidence to support your points that you can include in the slides of your presentation. Studies, research and surveys work well to prove your point. Whenever possible, find and use graphics which are easy to audience to understand, such as a graph depicting the grades of students who wear uniforms contrasted with grades of students who don't wear them. Assign the graphics to each point page.

Step 5

Finish your presentation with your conclusion. The conclusion gives you the opportunity to restate the issue and your position on the issue. You can also reiterate a few key points from your presentation, but the conclusion period should be precise and short as a strong ending to your debate. Use your last slide to restate your position in the negative or the affirmative to remind the audience of the purpose of your debate, then end your presentation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check for the rules of the debate ahead of time. Some rules may prohibit the use of visual aids in a presentation.