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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learn To Promote From HS Debate Champs

Promoting something like a book requires one to be good at the power of persuasion. Lawyers know this skill well, as do politicians, businessmen, and husbands and wives. So do debaters. My nephew, who attends Booklyn Technical High School, just won the New York State HS Debate Championship with his debate partner, Dante DeBlasio, the son of New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The duo was recently featured in The New York Times. Here is the story:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/nyregion/dante-de-blasio-mayors-fast-talking-son-is-a-new-debate-champion.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well . They also participated in an interview with BookMarketingBuzzBlog. Here it is:

Interview with Dante DeBlasio
1.      What do you find fulfilling about debating others? Debate is an ideal opportunity to learn about current events and alternative views on a wide variety of topics. Debaters are given the unique opportunity to dive deeply into a topic for a year and consider policy solutions to many current issues. I also enjoy the competitive aspect of debating, especially the ability to face some of the best teams in the state and country.

2.      Does debating help you see there are two sides to every issue-- or does it make it clear to you that one side is truly right on an issue? Debate shows that there are often two sides to an issue, but one side usually has better arguments supporting it. One good aspect of debate is that it forces you to learn both sides of an issue, but at times this can be a bad thing since we might have to support a position we know is badly supported or one that goes against our beliefs.

3.      Is the debate team's success inspiring you to consider a career in law or politics? The debate team has definitely led me to look more deeply into our legal and political solutions for issues that affect the world. I am still not sure what career I want.

4.      As a key member of the NY State champion high school debate team, how would you describe what it is like to partner with Sam and work together with the goal of winning every argument? Sam has been a great partner this year and we’ve worked very well together, which was instrumental towards this victory. The most important thing has been finding the best ways to complement each other’s strengths and ensuring that the workload is evenly distributed. Communication has also been very important since we both need to understand the strategies we are employing.

5.      What skills or techniques do you employ to be so convincing? I use three main techniques to be convincing. The first is voice control, I use my voice’s loudness and tone to emphasize certain important points and I use my voice to carry emotion. The second is posture; I adopt a confident pose at the beginning of every speech and don’t sway or move excessively which allows me to show assertiveness. The third is rebuttal skills. If you are able to effectively answer your opponent’s arguments in a direct manner judges will look more favorably upon your speech performance. 

Interview With Sam Eluto
1.      How do you prep for a debate? I prep for debate by researching other people's positions on an open case list and tailor my positions towards those arguments.  

2.      How challenging is it to argue for a position you don't personally believe in? It isn’t relatively hard because you can still bring up valid points with the position, even if you don’t believe in it.

3.      How difficult is it to lobby for an argument when you don't feel fully informed on the topic? It is very hard, and that’s why you try to research before the debate.

4.      What does it feel like when you know you are convincing the judge and winning him or her over? It is hard to recognize because judges are supposed to be as objective as possible

5.      Do you recognize the potential power of being persuasive and being able to get others to accept your point of view? Yes and it is a powerful skill that debate helps to foster because you have to be able to convince a "judge" of your specific argument in order to win, and you are supposed to do that under time constraints and pressure. The ability to simulate the real world can get you far in life. 


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


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