Scared of Speaking
Humans usually come with a fear of standing up in front of people and making a speech, so it is no surprise that people feel apprehensive about joining a debating society. It’s difficult to imagine yourself ever being persuasive in front of a room full of people if you have never done it before. This is unfortunate, because in university, your personal life, and your career you will, at some point, be asked to give a presentation, speak in a seminar, or make a best man’s speech.
While some of our members are experienced debaters, most people come to us with little or no speaking experience, so everybody is in the same boat.
Fortunately, we’ve become pretty good at turning shy speakers into confident debaters. Before very long, you will think nothing about standing at the front of a lecture theatre and being persuasive to an audience. Students who have come to the society with no experience at all have gone on to be successful at competitions around the country.
Don’t Do Politics
Debating is about applying principles to a range of issues, so it doesn’t matter if you haven’t memorised the last 20 Prime Ministers. We debate lots of issues, such as sports, politics, and zombies – at some point, everyone will find themselves having to make a convincing argument on something they know nothing about.
You also don’t find out what you will be debating until 15 minutes before the debate begins, your ability to think on your feet will be more important than memorising election results.
We are a friendly and supportive bunch, and many of our members will form their closest university friends in our society. We also travel around the country together, crammed into coaches, Arriva trains, and Nissan Micras, so you’ll feel right at home in no time.
The best way to figure out if you will get anything out of debating is to attend our Thursday meetings. We meet every Thursday at 7pm.