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YLT-Competitive Debating

Competitive debating is an activity that can expand your skills of persuasion. Pick a format (one Scout against another, or small teams facing off) and a topic and get debating!

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  • How will you choose your topic and designate sides of the topic for each of the teams?  
  • Where will you go on this adventure?  
  • What format of debate will you choose?  
  • Who will decide who won? A judge (or judges), or the audience?  
  • What are the rules of debating? What research will you have to do? 


  • Agree on how the debate will be formatted (working alone or in teams), your topic, and who will be arguing for each side. 
  • Take time to develop a strategy for the topic at hand. Decide what you will say on the topic that will prove whatever side of the issue you have been given (you do not necessarily have to agree with the point you will be making).  
  • Argue your side of the issue and debate against your opponent. 


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?  
  • What strategy did you use? How effective was it?  
  • How did you feel before, during and after debating your opponent(s)?  
  • How do you really feel about the issue you were debating? How did your feelings affect your performance? If you were arguing a viewpoint you did not agree with, what did you learn about the issue?  
  • If you held another debate, what would you do differently? 

Keep it Simple

Practice your public speaking and improvisation skills – try table topics!

Take it Further

Try forming a Mock Parliament and discussing current Canadian issues.