Guidance for chairpersons in a debate

The chairperson should introduce the topic and the speakers on both sides. They should then call each speaker in the pre-arranged order. They could say:

  • “It now gives me great pleasure to recognise the first speaker for the proposition, James Bond”.

When the speaker has finished, the chairperson thanks them and calls on the next speaker. If there is a floor debate it will be up to the Chair to ask for points from the audience. They could say

  • “Please raise your hand if you have any points”

and then choose somebody. If the points all seem to be to one team then the Chair should ask for opposing points to balance it out. At the end of the debate the Chairperson should take a vote. They could say

  • “Please raise your hands if you wish to vote for the Proposition. Now the Opposition. And finally any votes in abstention (or undecided).”

The Chairperson should then announce the results of the debate by saying either

  • “the motion has been carried” or
  • “the motion has been defeated”.

They should then congratulate the teams and invite them to cross the floor to shake hands.

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