It is not enough to be knowledgeable or skilled anymore – you have to be able to convince people of the fact. With automation increasingly taking over more jobs, the competition for roles is rising. Your son needs an edge when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
Here’s how debating skills will help your son get ahead.
Broad multi-faceted knowledge about the world
Having debating skills will mean that your son acquires knowledge across multiple disciplines, often outside his usual learning areas. This will help him become more knowledgeable about the world and expand his worldview. Being more aware of the world around him will put your son in a strong position to make better decisions about his future.
Better critical thinking skills
Your son will develop the ability to make reasoned and well thought out arguments in a debating team. Better critical thinking skills will help him to stay curious and ask healthy questions about the world around him. While he may not need to debate daily in the future, everyone needs to be able to reason their point of view or pitch a particular angle in a meeting from time to time.
Organise and articulate thoughts
Have you ever spoken up in a meeting to say something meaningful but it came out jumbled and confused? It’s a frustrating experience – nerves can undo your ability to make sense of thoughts before articulating them. Practising debating will help your son to first organise and structure his arguments before expressing them verbally. Great debaters such as Cicero and Churchill had this ability and it enabled them to shape the world we live in.
Confidence, poise and self-esteem
We live in a busy, noisy and competitive world. Your son will need confidence to put himself forward for opportunities in his life. Knowledge and expertise is important, but self-conviction is key. Debating will help to develop the poise and self-esteem he will need to put his hand up when opportunities arise – the ability to stand out and be noticed.
Think on the go
Life is unpredictable –this is becoming more evident as time goes on. The ability to be flexible and adapt to changes around us is imperative, especially for our children. We recently wrote about developing an entrepreneurial spirit and the importance of having a flexible and innovative mindset. Debating will help your son think on his feet and adapt to his environment before deciding on his best next move.
Thousands of years ago, Aristotle stated that persuasive rhetoric needs three components – ethos, pathos and logos. Pathos refers to a public speaker’s ability to connect emotionally with an audience and the word empathy is derived from pathos. Debating skills will help your son to better connect with his audience, and more broadly he will learn to understand the viewpoint of others.
If it’s true that public speaking is the thing we fear more than death, then some of us may have a problem on our hands. By practising debating, your son will not have this issue. Instead he will develop a rare and highly valued skill that will help him get ahead in his personal and professional life.
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