DEBATING is the art of 'disputatious conversation'.
Debating is a wonderful ‘tool’ to have in your skills toolkit. It helps you structure a speech 'off the cuff'; think on your feet; and deal - firmly and politely - with those rude people who constantly interrupt when you’re in full flow!!
Whether you are a novice or experienced speaker, our Group will stretch your speaking talents and boost your confidence, not only in debating but in business and in life. Guaranteed!
Feel free to spectate or participate – do remember though that the best way to get better is to practice... It’s called ‘learning by doing’. See below for more info on what we do and how we do it...
So, let’s all get lots of practice in the safe and friendly comfort of our Group; it’s the best place to make lots of mistakes and get lots of experience - before doing it for real!!
Go ahead and submit your ideas, vote in our polls and offer any feedback and suggestions to me.
Format of debates
We will vary between a number of different formats, including:
1. Question Time (like on the telly)
A couple (or more) speakers who do a 5 minute pitch on a topical topic. Then the floor is opened up for facilitated hearty debate.
2. Team Debating
In teams of 2 or 3, two sides of an argument (‘proposer’ and ‘opposition’) engage in an oratorical battle of wits, up against the clock and dealing with interruptions (‘points of information’) from their opponents
3. Balloon debate
Like Question Time but speakers (in an imaginary hot air balloon) are voted off and a winner is left standing ‘in the balloon’
4. Line up
Two sides have a bit of a quick fire free-for-all – great fun and gets you thinking quicker than a quick thing!!
5. Positions Please
You'll be given a position to argue in a debate, no matter how much persuasion you face, and you have to stick to it...
Usually, you get only a few minutes to prepare (it’s great fun, trust me!!). However, if there’s enough interest topics can be allocated in advance for a proper prepared debate if we have volunteers. I’ll select the topics so send me your ideas please...
A wee while ago, speaking in public was rated as the most scary thing in the world – more so than death and spiders!! So, let’s all be very supportive of those who take the plunge, forgiving of all our howlers and being full of admiration as we learn from each other and become more and more confident.
It goes without saying that we need to be supportive, respectful, inoffensive and non-threatening.
Remember, Banter = good; Abuse = bad!
Some of us are more robust than others... if anyone ever feels uncomfortable, let me know, either at the time or later.
Photos and video may be taken. If you object to being put up on the Group’s website please let me know...
Your Organiser, Scott Johnston
Here's a wee bit of info about me...
I’ve done loads of speaking and debating and organised competitions locally, nationally and internationally (even managed to win a few trophies along the way – including a European debate competition!). This was all as part of JCI (an international self-development group, see www.jciglasgow.com for more info).
I do lots of advocacy and speaking in my business too... I qualified as a barrister in 1990 and have been representing clients in courts and, for the last few years, Employment Tribunals as well as delivering training sessions across the world. I’m very keen to help others improve their public speaking and genuinely believe that debating is a wonderful ‘tool’ to have in your skills toolkit and for building your self-confidence.
The other limb of my business is Negotiation Skills and Conflict Resolution training & mentoring. Obviously, we already use a lot of these tips, tools and techniques when we're debating. If you would like a bit more on this, you are welcome to sign up to my free tips series on Negotiation called 'Negotiation Nuggets' - very quick tips emailed to you once or twice a week.
I also tweet and re-tweet lots of personal development and inspirational quotes so feel free to follow me there if that's of interest to you. I'm @1ScottJohnston and would be chuffed to add you to my 5,000 followers!
For more info visit my websites. Any queries, feel free to email me.