Difference Between Speech and Debate

Speech vs Debate
 

Although both debate and speech can be viewed as formal addresses made in front of an audience, there is a key difference between these two types of address. First, let us comprehend the basic idea behind each word. A speech is a formal talk that is made in front of a group of people. A speech is made by a single individual, in which he expresses his thoughts, ideas and views. Speeches take place in different settings. A debate, on the other hand, is also a formal address that involves more than one individual. The key difference between a speech and a debate is that while in a speech an individual expresses his ideas, in a debate it is an exchange of two opposing views in the form of a discussion. Through this article let us examine the difference between a speech and a debate in depth.

What is a Speech?

A speech can be understood as a formal address in front of an audience. When a speech is being made, the speaker presents his ideas, thoughts and points of view on a single topic to an audience. This is one-sided because only a single point of view is being shared. Speeches take place in various settings. For example, in political campaigns, in schools and universities various speakers present their ideas.

A speech can be informative because it can provide knowledge to the audience regarding a specific topic. For instance, when experts of various disciplines make speeches they provide new insight to the listener. Also, a speech can raise awareness about much needed social problems in the society as well. For instance, speeches on sexual violence, AIDS, and global warming raise the awareness of the general public. A debate, however, is a bit different to a speech.

Difference Between Speech and Debate

What is a Debate?

A debate is a formal discussion on a particular topic between two sets of individuals who bear opposing views. Unlike in the case of a speech where a single opinion is presented, in a debate we can hear different opinions about a single topic. A debate can even be understood as an elaborate form of argument that takes place in front of an audience, where the individuals prove their stance and make an attempt to disprove the opposing stance.

Debates take place in different settings such as in the parliament, public assemblies, meetings, etc. The special feature of a debate is that it contains more conflicting information on a topic, rather than a single point of view. This highlights that although both speech and debate are formal addresses, there are differences between these two varieties.

 Speech vs Debate

What is the difference between Speech and Debate?

Definitions of Speech and Debate:

Speech: A speech can be understood as a formal address in front of an audience.

Debate: A debate is a formal discussion on a particular topic between two sets of individuals who bear opposing views.

Characteristics of Speech and Debate:

Participants:

Speech: A speech is made by a single individual.

Debate: In a debate, more than one person is involved.

Views:

Speech: A speech focuses on a single point of view.

Debate: In a debate, contrary views are presented.

Exchange of Ideas:

Speech: In a speech, there is less room for an interactive process of exchanging ideas.

Debate: In a debate, there is an exchange of ideas between the individuals, where they will attempt to disprove the views of the opposing team.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Speech by Kennisland (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. HUJI Election Debate by The Israel Project (CC BY-SA 2.0)