Start Debating

You want to start debating? Great! You’re not sure whether you want to start debating? Fair enough, this page is for you as well.

You are primarily looking for reasons why you should consider debating? – Our Why Debate? section will help you out.
[section=What is debating]

What does debating look like?

The best way to learn about debating is to watch and participate in an actual debate.

The best way to learn about debating is to watch and participate in an actual debate.

Debating means to discuss a certain topic in a structured form with the means of logical argumentation. In a debate, at least two teams debate against each other on opposed sides on a given topic (also called ‚motion‘).

Debating helps young people to express their opinions in an convincing manner , fosters political awareness, and is a good tool to learn how to judge current socio-political and economic developments in the world.

There are multiple formats:

The most prominent is BP (British Parliamentary) where there are 2 teams with 2 people each on both sides. The speeches are 7 minutes long.

Another format practiced in our club is OPD (Offene Parlamentarische Debatte) which is a German format with 2 teams with 3 persons each and 3 individual speakers. In this format, there are slightly different rules.

For a more in depth look into the formats check here.

Yet, it is not necessary to know all the rules to watch a debate or try it yourself. You can very well join a debate without knowing them by heart. In the end, every person is a debater and and we argue with each other on a daily basis. Debating puts your thoughts into a structured form.

If you do not want to read, you can check out this video introduction:


If you are curious on how a debate might look like, why not browse through a competitive debate?

There are many different debates on Youtube, below you can find some examples of speeches at tournaments:

1. A room during the Vienna IV 2013:

Motion: This house as an atheist would join an atheist church

2. A Final from the HWS Round Robin Debate:

Motion: This house believes that governments should abandon the strategy of „decapitation“ in fighting terrorism.

3. A German BP speech at a Final of the South German Championship by Madlen, one of our members:

Motion: Dieses Haus bereut die Entscheidung der Bundesregierung, im Fall Jan Böhmermanns der Staatsanwaltschaft die Ermächtigung zur Strafverfolgung zu erteilen und somit dem Strafverlangen der türkischen Regierung gegen diesen stattzugeben.

TOPICS: If you wonder what other kind of motions there could be, you could browse Youtube or check this site where you can find many topics of past competitions: IDEBATE .

[section=What is a debate society]

What is a debate society

A group of people who like debating, practice together and organize and attend debate tournaments (as speakers & judges) not only in Europe, but all over the whole world.

So, what do debaters do?

London calling! Debating tournaments get you around a lot.

London calling! Debating tournaments get you around a lot.

First, they go to tournaments a lot, and luckily we captured many of our experiences for you to read. Whether it is the indefinite joy of a Road Trip to Paris, the laid back culture of Aussie Debaters in Melbourne, or that feeling of success when teams finally make it through the break at SOAS IV, London, debating means traveling and entails all the joys and odds that come with it.

Second, we prepare amongst each other for debating tournaments, e.g. when we prepped like bosses for the European Championship 2012 at the Mödling Invitational.

Third, we organise events and have people from all over the world enjoying them, check e.g. what the University of Vermont’s delegation thought about our annual tournament, the Vienna Intervarsity.

[section=DK Wien]

Our society-DK Wien
DKW Logo

We are a group of people who train with each other to become better at debating

For  this purpuse we have training twice a week (Monday & Wednesday) and a Beginners Trainings course at the start of the Winter Semester (October-November):

You can find the exact dates here or in the calendar on the right.

We are a society of friends

After every debate-training, we go to a restaurant to relax and talk over pizza and beer. Apart from training we also have „Socials“ where we play some games, meet for drinks or go for a hike. Some of the most rewarding experiences includes participating at tournaments, traveling, partying, and exploring different cities together.

We are one of the most active debate clubs in Europe.

The DK is active in the German (VDCH) and the international debating circles. We send members (teams and judges) to around 30 debate tournaments a year.  Additionally we participate in the German championships (SDM/DDM), the European championships (EUDC) and the World championships (WUDC). For our successes check the Wall of Success.

We organize at least one tournament every year.

Festsaal der Universität Wien

Vienna IV brings debaters from all over the planet to Vienna each year.

Our Vienna IV (VIV) attracts teams from all over Europe, Israel and even oversees, and is one of the most popular and best organized tournaments in Europe each year.

We organized the European Championships in summer 2015. Vienna Euros is regarded by the international community as one of the best organized tournaments and we set standards for other championships to come.

So how do you get to know us? As a first step, please scroll through our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, and most importantly: stop by at out training! (more at How to Start)

[section=How to start]

Visiting this page is already the first step, the next steps are:

A- Drop by to debate

Vienna Debating Workshop 2010 Final government

Our regular debates usually start with a short training input, then comes the debate, and then … pizza.

This is your most important step. No one ever got good at debating without starting debating in the first place. The good news: It’s pretty easy. Just drop by for one of our regular sessions on Monday or Wednesday (Monday in German, Wednesday in English, WU Campus, 7 p.m, check our calendar for the exact room). We will give you a short instruction. Joining us is an even better idea in October. Our Fresher’s Training is specifically tailored for beginners and runs throughout October and November. So come by and start debating!

If you have any questions just message the page on Facebook, or email us at

You can join our debates as a speaker, as a judge, or in the audience. It’s free and beginners are always welcome. We recommend you to read the basic rules beforehand but if you don’t, we won’t leave you hanging: you’ll receive a short introduction on the spot.

B- Become a Member

Why should you become a member?

    • Be part of a diverse society
    •  have access to all of DKWien’s training resources
    • have a possibility to go to tournaments

Therefore the first step in order to get more involved is to become a member of DKWien. The good news is: it is pretty easy.

From that point on you can call yourself a DKWien member.

If you want to know the exact constitution you can read it here:  Debattierklub Wien Statuten (German Language).

C- Fly Off

Tournaments are heaps of fun. This pic is from a DKCrew driving to Paris.

Tournaments are heaps of fun. This pic is from a DKCrew driving to Paris.

A vital part of DKWien activity includes flying off to tournaments all over the world, getting to see cities and meeting friendly people. If you show up to our regular debates you should have no trouble finding a teammate for these competitions. So check out the European Debating Calendar or Idebate Events for so-called „Intervarsities“ (IV) or „Opens“, look up the place you want to go and JUST DO IT.