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  • Writer's pictureCaia TAM

Debate & Public Speaking

Updated: May 7, 2023

Somehow, this journey started with a notebook. On just a random Wednesday, I overheard a few of my classmates talking. Pretty loudly too. They were practically yelling, “Did you bring your notebook for debate?” This went on for a very long time. But then I got curious. I wanted to join debate too, and obviously it was an after school activity, so I asked to join.

I tried it, and I liked it. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I was pretty scared of public speaking, which was odd for me, since I was a VERY active talker. But I got into it. It was fun. Shockingly fun. I was very surprised how much I liked everything, and to this moment, it's still one of my favourite hobby.

I am not a very good speaker sometimes. I feel like, it's sort of the feeling that you might mess up, and make an embarrassment of yourself. But I learned to improve. I ended up getting a lot better at public speaking (well, most of the time. I still get stage fright sometimes) and I was able to raise my confidence and seem a lot more ‘Professional’.

I was getting, better and better. Soon enough was our first competition. I was overjoyed to find out I was chosen to be the 3rd speaker for our first ever tournament. I was so excited. Until we ended up losing. At first, I was just telling myself, it’s OK. It was my first tournament or even an actual debate against someone not in our class. But, it wasn’t the first time.

The next time, I was more confident. Ish. We had one day to prep, and we were going against year 9’s. Honestly, I was glad that I was in the tournament, but I was also super scared. We didn't win again that time. I was disappointed, but I still tried to persevere.

The most recent time. We lost again. Honestly, I didn't really know what to expect, but it was not that. It hit me hard. It was super disappointing. I was so unmotivated, and angry. Angry at myself, at the opposing team, and my team. It was hard, honestly, but through all of that, I was able to discover something.

It was the disappointment, all three times, that pushed me. I realised that every time, I would communicate with my team more. I would prepare more, and every time, it would feel like it came closer and closer. Soon I know that there will be the time that we win, soon I know that there will finally be a chance where I would be able to learn from my mistakes. I would be able to help my team towards victory.

One day, I will help my team achieve what they want, but only if we are able to help each other, because that's what debate is all about. Not just how good you are at speeches, not how well you can rebut, but how well can you help others to make sure that you can all back each other up, and help each other throughout the whole debate. Even if it’s just for 30 mins.

(The photo below is my first debate competition, unfortunately, it had to be held on zoom.)

RCHK Zoom Debate Tournament


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