Parliamentary Debate

Written by Samuel Wong
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Parliamentary debate owes its name and format to Great Britain's House of Parliament. As opposed to LD debate, where two people debate using prepared speeches over the validity and value of a resolution, parliamentary debate is more loose and spontaneous. Teams of two or three people can argue on literal resolutions and concepts, or more intangible ones. Since the debate teams in the parliamentary style of debate are larger, their variety makes them more appealing to a general audience.

Because of its more free-flowing structure, parliamentary debate is more accessible to both the audience and debate novices. There are still time constraints, as in LD debates, but speakers are able to inject their personalities into their speeches. Parliamentary debate speakers do not use prepared speeches. Often times they are only given a few minutes before the debate to prepare notes and strategize. Extemporaneous speaking and oratory are often used in parliamentary debate. This makes a parliamentary debate session more exciting and passionate for the audience.

Express Yourself In Parliamentary Debate

Parliamentary debate speakers use their persuasive skills, personality, and sense of humor to attack their opponents' arguments. The lack of preparation time enables and requires speakers to think on their feet, which is a vital skill during any type of real-life debate or discussion. The speakers must maintain constant eye contact with the audience, not a judge, as is the case in LD debates.

Parliamentary debate is a great way to expose yourself to the many varieties and skill levels of competitive debate. If you prefer to improvise and express yourself rather than prepare serious, stoic speeches, you would probably fit in perfectly behind the podium at a parliamentary debate.

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