I spent the last weekend listening to 40 speeches from almost 30 debaters that were trying out for spots to represent IIU [my beloved uni] and compete in the upcoming Worlds Universities Debating Championship in Thailand, Oxford debating tournie in UK and another tournie in Dhaka, Bangladesh end of this year.

Aaah yes, one of the perks of being a debater..travelling all across the globe to compete in international tournaments. I certainly enjoyed the travelling.

The university can’t send all the debaters to compete, so usually depending on the budget, number of teams allowed per uni, format of the tournament.. the top 10,6 [number varies] debaters out of the whole lot will be selected, they will then attend intensive trainings and continue to be in the running [read that line the Tyra Banks style haha]to be Champions.

So I was tasked along with a few other former debaters to judge the performance of those trying out and select the top debaters. Debaters had to debate for 5 rounds, over Saturday and Sunday.

Not easy okay, considering that some of them are neck-to-neck close in ability, style.

It’s all done systematically and very transparent, speakers are given scores and ranked after each round, marks are averaged out and become a reference for the selection committe to delibarate on. very serious business.

Selections can be nerve wrecking..I know..cos I’ve been through quite a number during my debating days. Some of the nerve wrecking bits are:

  1. Knowing that there are limited places and there’s a gazillion people trying out
  2. Competing against your seniors for a spot.. nervous + intimadated = not a good combi
  3. waiting for your speaker positions [debaters you know how no one wants to go 1st speaker Opening Gov or PM in Asians] 
  4. Getting the motion
  5. Selectors having that glazed out look while they’re listening to your speech
  6. Someone pointing out that you had a contradiction in your speech [die la]
  7. The long wait [it’s actually just a day or two] for the results

But after all that.. the adrenalin rush, pressure from your peers and yourself to do well, beating yourself up after everyone round cos you’re not sure whether you gave a good speech or whether the judges cum selectors liked your speech..it’s a pretty overwhelming feeling to finally read your name on the list of..

 Top Speakers Selected to Represent IIUM at the Worlds Universities Debating Championship

It feels great! It makes all the effort worth it. And I know some debaters are feeling it now, cos they’ve got 3 different countries to travel to in the next 2 months and make their mark.

Those that didnt make it, they’ll be devastated..but I can bet that I’ll see them again in the next selection for the next set of tournaments. Debaters dont give up easily and that’s an admirable trait.

So, congrats to those that made it & I’ll see you guys at training!

Below: Baby Hannah, the debater in making made a special apprerance at selections, both mum and dad are debaters. Isnt she adorable..look at those cheeks! I nicknamed her Sandwich :p She loves the camera.