From Julius Gamanyi, VP PR
At the bang of the gavel, the meeting starts, this being the sixth meeting of the club, 104 London Debaters. Meeting here is one way to spend a Tuesday evening. I, and nearly thirty others, did so on Tuesday 11 November; and will do so again this Tuesday on 25 November 2014.
Time: 6.45pm for 7pm-9pm. Venue: Upstairs function room, Windsor Castle, 23 Francis St, London SW1P 1DN (close to Victoria station)
At the debate, the atmosphere is such that we respect each other, yet there's room enough to be candid, call the arguments of your opponents absurd, or say the same about the motion. Of course, you have to offer arguments to support your that point of view. In this we're all learning; and this is seen during the evaluations which focus on
- how persuasive the arguments are, the kinds of arguments (emotional appeal or logical),
- how weighty are the arguments, and especially
- how they relate, or address, those raised by the opposition. As club President Paul Carroll reminds us: any argument from the opposition that you don't address remains in the minds of your audience.
All those present have the opportunity to participate:
- In the first part of the meeting, you can participate through the Table Topics.
- The Table Topics Master proposes a motion, then calls one speaker to argue for the motion and another against the motion.
- He who volunteers for a table topic is unaware which side of the motion he'll have to argue for.
- In the second part, you can participate when the debate floor is opened up to the audience.
- What you debate on is announced before the 15-minute break. The 3 main debaters for each side are chosen. They have 15 minutes to invent their arguments for or against the motion.
- Each main debater speaks for at least 5-minutes.
- Then contributions from the audience are taken.
- The last of the main debaters summarises their side's arguments, and try to persuade the audience.
- Which side was most persuasive is shown by how the audience votes.
The after-meeting discussions are usually focused on talking about the meeting, the arguments, the evaluations, and how, as most of us have come to realise, we need practice and training to get our minds to think this way.
I wish you would try it. Come join us, and perhaps, you will, at least, confirm by experiment and experience whether to continue practicing debate on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. To get other info please like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/104LondonDebaters