Debate and Parliamentary Procedure 201 Doing Hard Time Formal debate is rigorous public speech, so it demands extra careful preparation. Follow these steps. 1. 2. Analyze the proposition.The first speaker for the affirmative side will begin by defining the terms, so decide which terms need to be defined and how you interpret them. Get the background on the proposition.Read up on both sides of the issue. Whether you're arguing the affirmative or the negative side, you'll need to know everything you can about the issue. Focus on the issues.The issues form the cornerstone of any debate, since they're the key arguments on which the proposition's acceptance or rejection rests. 3. Talk Soup In debate, case refers to a side's arguments on any given proposition. 4. Build a case.Each side's arguments on any given proposition is called its case. To build your case, you can either prepare a brief or evidence cards . A brief includes a full outline of your case, with all the analysis and reasoning that you'll use. Evidence cards, in contrast, are note