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What is Manner, Matter & Method?

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Manner, Matter and Method are the three main components of debating. Manner usually accounts for 40% of a team’s score, Matter for another 40% and Method for 20%.

Matter is the content and structure of the speech,

Manner is the way it is presented, and

Method is teamwork and the approach a team takes to the topic.

Manner Skills include:

  • Eye Contact - not just looking at the audience but also the way we connect with the audience.

  • Confidence and knowledge of subject matter.

  • Body language, including posture, movement and hand gestures.

  • Voice, including pace of speech, variation of speech and voice projection.

  • Expression - integrates both body language and voice, and includes speaking and moving expressively in a way that engages, convinces and connects with the audience.

Matter Skills include:

  • Defining the topic.

  • Having a clear structure to your debate.

  • Fulfilling the requirements of a debate for your speaker role – each speaker has a different role in a debate.

  • Having an effective introduction and conclusion.

  • Having effective points and examples to illustrate each point.

  • Presenting evidence to back up your arguments.

  • Research skills.

  • Signposting.

  • Rebuttal.

Method Skills include:

  • The team’s interpretation of the topic.

  • Cohesion of the debate between all team members.

  • Teamwork and collaboration.

  • Team theme (when relevant).

  • The way the team has planned to approach the debate.

  • Knowledge of each other’s arguments.

As with all debating skills, students will improve and develop mastery the more they practice. Rise & Shine debating does not expect students to be perfect from the start. Students progress through a series of stages as they gain experience with public speaking and debating. It is important to encourage students and acknowledge their achievements at every stage of their development of Manner, Matter and Method skills.


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