Our internal competitions are a way of giving students here at Kent a chance to take part in debating competitions like those at IVs, but without the trouble of having to travel around the country, less competitive pressure and at a fraction of the price. We also use these competitions to raise money for the society.
Our internal competitions are comprised of four rounds and a final. Speeches are 5 minutes in length, while the first and last of these minutes is ‘protected’, meaning no one is allowed to ask you questions. No one except the judges are allowed to watch the rounds, while the final will be done in a lecture theatre as a showcase of the debating talent here at Kent.
Like Inter Varsity competitions, motions are closed. This means that you find out what you’ll be debating shortly before the round begins. This can be a rather daunting prospect, particularly for beginners. Nonetheless, this is what makes debating such an effective means of improving your critical thinking and public speaking, because you are very much ‘put on the spot’, making you think on your feet and sharpen your analytical skills. We always run a workshop before the actual competition begins, so there will be plenty of time to practice and ask questions before the proper debating begins!