JCI Debating Training

JCI Debating Training

Posted By admin |08 Jul 2013
JCI Debating Training

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JCI Debating - by Hannah Woodcock

After greatly enjoying their presentation training ('the effective presenter') and feeling much more at ease with public speaking, JCI Sheffield's debating training immediately caught my eye. I’d learnt the skills needed to present a topic effectively, so debating seemed to be a simple step forward…

Before we experienced it for ourselves, we were given an informative presentation on the rules of debating with JCI. The rules are straightforward: six debaters, two teams, one topic. The government argues in favour of the proposition, while the opposition (as you may have already guessed) argues against. Our team would act as the government, and we were to uphold a fantastic subject: ‘Yorkshire should become a separate country’.

We had 15 minutes to brainstorm ideas and decide which speaker was to cover which topic. Although this may seem like plenty of time, we found ourselves stalling for the first few minutes. When we began discussing the positive and iconic features and members of Yorkshire, we managed to compile a lengthy list and divide our notes between each team member. A timekeeper is at hand to ensure that everyone keeps within their time restraints, although 3 minutes seems to span into an hour when you’re put on the spot. Camaraderie amongst the teams is encouraged, and it was hugely entertaining to cheer fellow team members and scoff at the opposing speakers.

Debating tests many personal skills, including articulation, timekeeping, thinking-on-the-spot, public speaking, and persuasion. While each team has, altogether, ten minutes to deliver their argument, we managed to fit in plenty of humour and innuendo (thanks to Mark, the proposed wall separating the region from the rest of the UK was brilliantly referred to as ‘The Yorkshire Erection’).

The event was extremely entertaining and it was such a thrill when our team was announced as the winners. Although, I have to admit that our argument was largely helped due to the promise of Sean Bean’s face to be printed on the currency…

If you would like to watch or take part in the forthcoming JCI Yorkshire region debating competition, please click here for more information or contact JCI Sheffield President Dan Senter dan.senter@jcisheffield.org.uk