How to Write a Speech for the Opposition Team

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How to Write a Speech for the Opposition Team
Debating is a fun and educational activity for high school and college students. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The opposition team plays an important role in a formal debate. The opposition, or negative, members are responsible for rebutting the government, or affirmative, side's case, while building a case of their own. The dual responsibilities of the opposition team make opposition speeches particularly difficult to write. With the help of a flow chart and Internet research tools, however, you can research, develop and write an effective opposition speech that can be delivered in five minutes or less.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Pencils

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  1. 1

    Draw a flow chart. A debating flow chart is written on 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper, landscape-style. Draw three lines from the top of the page to the bottom, creating four equal columns. The second and third columns are sections for the first and second opposition speeches. This is where you write the bullet points to hit the main themes of your opposition speeches.

  2. 2

    Listen to the first affirmative, or government, speaker deliver his speech. Make notes on the strength of his case in the first affirmative or first government column. Write counter-arguments to the government's points beside the government's arguments in the first opposition column.

  3. 3

    Write the opposition's constructive points beneath the rebuttal points in the first opposition column. The difference between constructive points and rebuttal points is that rebuttal points simply contradict the other side's points, while constructive points make a case for a superior solution to the problem the government's argument is designed to address.

  4. 4

    Listen to the second affirmative speaker make her points. Write them in the third column on the page. Write the rebuttal points beside them in the fourth column.

  5. 5

    Rewrite the first opposition constructive points beneath the second opposition rebuttal points in the fourth column. If the second affirmative fulfilled her speech requirements, she will have rebutted the opposition's points. Thus, the second opposition speaker must rebuild the first opposition speaker's points.

  6. 6

    Write a final opposition point and a case summary at the bottom of the fourth column. The final opposition point should be different from the other opposition points. The case summary should distil all the opposition points into one key theme, and explain why the government's case is fundamentally flawed.

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