Debating isn't just about standing up and speaking in public. It's also about preparation, research and exploring a topic.
You're probably familiar with the idea of mind-mapping but perhaps not familiar with how to use it in your debating program. We use mind-mapping in a range of different ways.
1. For brainstorming We ask students to create large mind-maps about their topic when they start exploring it. We find that doing this helps them be more creative with their ideas than making a list. We also find that as coaches, we can sit down with a group and show them links between their ideas by drawing lines that they hadn't seen before. This helps them understand the bigger picture and how diverse ideas connect. 2. For planning We find that using a mind-map to help a team plan their arguments and what each speaker is going to say. Sometimes having this in a highly visual format and all on one page helps children understand the roles of each speaker and the elements that run between each speaker consistently, as well as being able to see a big picture overview of their debate. 3. For palm cards This might sound odd and we don't recommend that students put a whole mind-map on each palm card, however some students work very well with a more visual format than just writing out their talk. Some students will be able to use colours, pictures, lines and shapes to help them remember their talk, or even in place of written notes. Not all children find this helpful but there are those who really thrive when given the opportunity to speak from notes that are creative and use pictures and simple words as cues for speaking rather than just writing. 4. For memory Mind-maps can be very good for helping children who are struggling to remember written words. Helping them put their ideas into a mind-map format can really be a powerful tool. Even if they don't use the mind-map on their palm cards, making one before writing palm cards can really help boost their memory. Here's a another article with a few tips on the concept of mind-mapping: https://imindmap.com/…/mind-mapping-for-memory-why-is-it-u…/