Training at DKWien

There is only one thing that makes you a better debater. Training. This the reason why we take training seriously at DKWien.

At DKWien, you have the choice to come and debate either on Mondays at 7pm or Wednesdays at 7pm at WU Wien. We are currently trying to make sure that debates in both languages (German & English) are available to participate in, but Mondays will lay focus on German whereas Wednesday will lay focus on English.

Yearly calendar:
We start the debating season in October and provide 4-5 weeks of a beginner’s training, called Fresher’s Training. We often culminate these weeks into a tournament for Fresher’s to participate in. After this, we resume to normal debates on Mondays and Wednesdays without beginners lectures. The remaining part of the year has debates on Mondays and Wednesday and provides an opportunity for you to participate in the Intermediate Trainings, where you can develop your debating skills further.

English Training Sessions

Wednesday Sessions are our main training sessions in the week. They continue throughout the year, even in vacation time. Check the calendar in the left sidebar for the next upcoming session.

Wednesday Sessions usually abide by the following schedule:

19:00 Weekly Debate

A debate normally lasts for an hour, afterwards there will be feedback provided by our adjudicators. DKWien judges break regularly at competitions across Europe, and will give you feedback so that you can enhance your debating skills.

afterwards: social/beer

Intermediate Trainings take place only irregularly during term time (please check the calendar). Each of these sessions has a specific focus (most often an interactive workshop that teaches you certain aspect of debate).

Extra Trainings are often held by external lecturers or more experienced internal debaters who are knowledgable on a specific topic. We often also have extra debates right before big tournaments such as EUDC or WUDC.

Training Focus

Training at DKWien focusses on two main fields:

Melanie Sindelar, Tilbury House IV Finalist, Oxford Graduate and mutiple top 10 speaker coordinates the Pro Training at DKWien.

Melanie Sindelar, Cambridge IV ESL Finalist, Cambridge Women’s Winner 2014, Oxford Graduate and multiple top 10 speaker is Director of Debate and leads the Beginner’s and Pro Training.

Fresher’s Training (October/early November, Introductions throughout the year) shall give debaters who are new to DKWien the basic skills for debating – which are also quite useful everywhere else. As a beginner you first learn the following things in our training sessions:

  1. First speeches: Structuring  a speech and speaking in front of an audience
  2. Identifying clashes: What is the debate about?
  3. Argumentative thinking: Developing relevant arguments on a set topic
  4. Making arguments persuasive: Basic analysis

Intermediate Training (throughout the year) shall provide extra insights to excel at tournaments. High-quality debates require a vast set of intellectual skills, a sharp mind as well as a very profound understanding of logical argumentation. Some of the areas in the focus of our Pro-Training are:

  1. Argumentation advanced: Logical thinking and sophistication in analysis
  2. Making arguments persuasive: Framing and case-building
  3. Deconstruction of arguments: Tackling POI’s and rebuttal exercises
  4. Knowledge base: Overviews and details on important issues in IR, economics, social policy, current affairs
  5. Understanding controversies: Adjudication and clashes

Ususal outline of training, as in 2015/2016 held by Melanie

Fresher’s Training

The Fresher’s Weeks both give an introduction into a formal aspect of debating and a short glimpse into topics that are very usual debate motions.

Week 1: Introduction into Debating, Build-up of an Argument. Topic: State authority VS individual autonomy (banning or regulating potentillay harmful activities for citizens)

Week 2: Rebuttal (Destructive & Constructive). Topic: Criminal Justice Debates

Week 3: Understanding Debates better (Principles, Burdens, Points of Clash, Argument Generation). Topic: International Organizations & International Relations

Week 4: The end is the beginning: 1st Props and Whips. Topic: Varies

Intermediate Training

1st Intermediate Training, 3rd November 2015, 3h
1st half: Tactics for Affirmatives and Negatives
2nd half: POI’s

2nd Intermediate Training, 3rd of December 2015, 3h
Opening Government
(how to approach OG in mind-set, how to approach motions, framing, axis to run prep on, Opening Government tactics and pitfalls, skeletons for PM speeches)

3rd Intermediate Training, 17th February 2016, 3h
(general introduction into judging focusing on matters of engagement, argumentation, and comparison, specifics of the BP style such as POI’s and Rebuttals and why and in which ways they matter to the debate, how to develop competitively as a judge, , how to approach panel discussions, both for chairing and winging)
Exercise debate


Extra Trainings

Strategy with Sella Nevo, Skype Workshop, 9th Dec 2015
Sella Nevo is a former WUDC and EUDC champion and current coach of the debaters of Tel Aviv University. (Organised by Elisabeth Vikydal)

Stimmgesundheit und korrekte Stimmtechnik als Basis der Rhetorik, 10th Dec 2015
mit Logopäde Dario Lindes; Vortrag über ästhetische Aspekte der Stimmbenutzung (Klang, Verständlichkeit, Lautstärke), wie auch gesundheitliche Aspekte (z.B. Stimmschonung und Heiserkeit bei längerem Sprechen); (Organisiert von Mark Etzel)

Motion to Model in 3 Minutes, 12th Dec 2015, postponed to date in future
Workshop on Motion analysis by Katharina Allinger

DKWien Worlds Prep Debate, 22nd Dec 2015
Extra training debate just before worlds (organised by Andreas Prischl)

Training Competence

At DKWien you can learn debating from the People who are really good at it. Not only have some of our members broken at major competitions across Europe, like the European Championships, the Cambridge and SOAS IV’s; we also have Skype training sessions and workshops with some of the best debaters of the planet (some of them were recorded and can be checked out on our Resources Page). Moreover, our teams regularly travel to international tournaments were they learn from other teams and gain the experience that guarantees the high standard of our training debates.


Training is a members’ resource. To stay on top of the training schedule come regularly, check the wiki and join the members’ group on  facebook – all the links you need for that can be found on the Members’ Page.


for any questions, concerns, ideas regarding training contact our Director of Debates, Melanie Sindelar, at