The debating community is a small community. The most watched debate video of all time, for what I know, is Shengwu’s speech in WUDC 2010, with around 250,000 views. None of us has really gone viral, and none of us will probably reach the recommendation feed any time soon.
So you really have to keep track of the good channels to watch—especially if you’re an audiovisual learner like me. And maybe you should share these channels to signify the existence of our community, and have more things in common to talk about during recess in competitions.
Without further ado, here’s my list of top debating channels. I think you shouldn’t miss it.
European Debate Training Platform
A lot of debaters from the European circuit have generously shared their seminars here. The materials they share are AMAZING. These people have contributed to my growth spurts in debating. Who knows if yours is just one click away, right?
Bear with the video and audio quality. This channel has some of the biggest secrets to winning debates. This BP debating playlist is great, too.
The OxfordUnion channel has loads of high-quality debating videos. They’re quite different from our competitive debates—they’re more technical and grounded in the real world—but the speakers usually have interesting facts and stats that we can use.
You can also learn to deliver speeches more diplomatically (which is crucial for NSDC and all Worlds debates), because these people don’t shout and madly swing their hands as some debaters do. Their debates illustrate a more formal, parliamentary setting and invite internationally famous debaters like MDG and Jason Xiao.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Patriot Act was an American comedy web television talk show on Netflix. It’s also available to watch on YouTube. The reason I’m recommending you this show? Not only it’s hilarious, but it also talks about recent news in a detailed, contextual way. The research done for this show is crazy.
Take this episode for example. Here, Hassan talks about 5 reasons the US policing system is broken, shortly after the George Floyd protests. An interesting fact from the episode: police departments spend 8 hours training officers for conflict de-escalation and 129 hours for weapons and fighting.
Substantial information, all with comedy and an easy to follow explanation. It’s really sad to see that the show has been ended by Netflix recently, but Hasan’s show is still a goldmine for debaters!
Vox simply lives up to its slogan, “understand the news”. For example, Vox Atlas explains a LOT of international conflicts, which is great to give you a clearer picture of the conditions in these countries. They also cover pretty much any other topic, from sports to technology to law.
Also, who else makes infographics and animations that fluid to make people understand intricate concepts?! I find Vox’s bite-sized explanations easy to digest and I hope you do too.
The Economist is a gold mine for audiovisual matter. Its videos are filled to the brim with various exciting insights, usually about 10 minutes long, giving you answers to both questions you already have and questions you didn’t know you need to ask.
Because they answer many questions at once, The Economist’s videos are sometimes so good that you can make whole arguments out of the ideas given.
For example, the video above is about the effectiveness of charity basically grounds the Online WSDC 2020 motion that reads “THBT states should reclaim a large proportion of all donations to charities and redistribute it across charities on the basis of their effectiveness” in the real world.
CaspianReport provides yearly geopolitical analyses and comprehensive discussions of politics, economics, and history. This channel asks interesting questions like Why some nations fail and others succeed and discusses things like Feasibility of sanctions against Russia.
You can watch it to understand the context of a lot of the world’s issues.
If CaspianReport gives you large-scope geopolitical analyses, VisualPolitik gives you the details. It asks brave questions about noteworthy aspects of countries, proudly showcased in its continent-based playlists. For you who want to support your IR debates with solid, targeted insights, I would really recommend this channel.
Many of us might have debated about Israel before, but not all of us know why Israel has the world’s most effective army, right?
Protip: Search for recent competitions
The list is over, but for those of you who haven’t done this, I encourage you to. I’m giving you this protip because imitation is one of the best ways to learn, and it applies to debating too.
If you live in a country where debating is popular, then it’s likely that the debate competitions are recorded and uploaded to YouTube. “WUDC 2020” and “EUDC 2019” are good search queries that will find you the speeches of some of the world’s best debaters.
An extra tip is to google the tabulation, so you have an accurate judgment of people’s speeches. Learn from both the winning and losing speeches!
Are there any other YouTube channels you can recommend for debaters? Share it in the comments if you know. The debate community isn’t huge, sharing is probably the only way quality content will be seen—and seen by the people who need it most. Spread some kindness.