What Are the Qualities of a Good Debater?

Southern Arkansas University/CC-BY 2.0

The desirable qualities of a good debater include the ability to speak clearly, think quickly, clarify arguments, provide examples, maintain persuasive speech, and maintain a professional tone and body language. In addition, a good debater should be knowledgeable about the subject area and construct arguments that will persuade the target audience.

When constructing a debate for a competition or public event, a good debater prepares materials and arguments relevant to the topic by researching statistics, facts and studies to support his position. A good debater also compiles an outline of supporting arguments, potential rebuttals and closing remarks designed to persuade the audience. Good debaters refrain from belittling opponents but instead use charismatic gestures and phrases to gain the trust of the audience.

Qualities necessary to show genuine knowledge and concern include an ability to empathize with those affected by the topic, use facial expressions that are direct such as eye contact and hand gestures, and speak in a tone that is friendly, honest and free from anger or frustration. A good debater must have the ability to brainstorm ideas quickly in response to his opponent’s claims, use persuasive phrases and speech and show passion for his side of the issue when presenting.