Difference Between Speech and Debate with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

Speech vs Debate

Although both debate and speech can be viewed as formal addresses delivered in front of an audience, there is a key difference between these two types of addresses. First, let’s understand the basic idea behind each word. A speech is a formal conversation that takes place in front of a group of people. A single individual makes a speech in which he expresses his thoughts, ideas and points of view. The speeches take place in different settings. On the other hand, a debate 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 points of view in the form of a discussion. Through this article,

What is a speech?

A speech can be understood as a formal address in front of an audience . When making a speech, the speaker presents his ideas, thoughts, and views on a single topic to an audience. This is one-sided because only one point of view is shared. The 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 on a specific topic. For example, when experts from various disciplines make speeches, they bring a new perspective to the listener. Also, a speech can raise awareness of the social issues that are sorely needed in society. For example, speeches on sexual violence, AIDS, and global warming raise the awareness of the general public. A debate, however, is a bit different than a speech.

What is a debate?

A debate is a formal discussion on a particular topic between two groups of individuals who have opposing points of view . Unlike the case of a speech in which a single opinion is presented, in a debate we can hear different opinions on a single topic. A debate can even be understood as an elaborate form of argument that takes place in front of an audience, where individuals test their position and attempt to refute the opposite position.

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

What is the difference between speech and debate?

Definitions of speech and debate:

Speak: 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 groups of individuals who have opposing views.

Characteristics of the speech and debate:


Speech: A speech is made by a single individual.

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

Points of view:

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

Debate: In a debate, opposing opinions are presented.


Speak: In a speech, there is less room for an interactive brainstorming process.

Debate: In a debate, there is an exchange of ideas between the individuals, where they will try to refute the opinions of the opposing team.

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