Do you feel you would like to keep your mind active?
Do you wish you could become more confident over speaking in public?
Coming to the meetings gives you an ideal opportunity to do both, in very friendly surroundings. Nothing here hinges on what you have to say.
One of the pleasures of taking part in debating is forming new ideas and new friendships. Debaters have to be open-minded. They sometimes find themselves agreeing to make a principal speech as Proposer or Opposer on the side which is really not their preferred choice.
Being made to see the other side to a question is a useful exercise, not least for the mental agility it develops. Trying to persuade others of this point of view encourages the open-mindedness which is one of the society’s hallmarks.
Also, by speaking without much preparation in the floor debate, members and visitors develop more confidence in their speaking ability. (The floor debate is when everyone has a chance to have their say after the opening speeches, as explained under The debates.)
Even a very short impromptu speech can make telling points, and can swing the course of the debate.
You may discover to your surprise that you enjoy speaking in public—with consequent benefits for your working life and your other interests.
Engaging with your audience
One of our members is pictured here making a short speech at a book launch unconnected with debating.
Speaking without reliance on a written text is generally more effective than reading a speech. That way you and your audience are directly engaged in what becomes a performance as well as a presentation—as we know from watching courtroom dramas.
Our new season opens on 14 October. The topics will be listed closer to that date.
We shall adopt hybrid debates. Members and visitors can choose to attend in person or by Zoom.
You can view the last eight topics we debated under The Debates.