“Debating Matters has broadened my thinking, developed the notion that nothing is infallible and made me question everything.”
Debating Matters gives students, teachers and professionals alike the chance to wrestle with contemporary issues that the world hasn’t made its mind up on yet. Through the carefully crafted Topic Guides, debaters have the opportunity to read up on, explore further and command topics they’d perhaps never do so themselves; from a scientific background, I found myself engaging with politics, philosophy and societal issues in which I was a complete novice. This broadened the way I thought, developing the notion that nothing is infallible and to question everything.
The format of the debates allows students to get thoughts heard in an intellectual and cross-examining environment. Even the shyest student is able to give it a go: as long as you’ve done your reading and research – an essential for the Debating Matters method, stalwartly substance over style – quiet confidence will come, which lends itself neatly into developing true confidence. With my team, Queen Elizabeth’s School, Faversham, I was one of the quietest and shyest students going!
Debating allowed me to develop an assurance in what I’d researched and written: this basis of facts, figures and logical progressions alongside getting past the 3 minute opener and teamwork gained us a place in the 2009/10 National Finals. I had the opportunity to network with leading figures across a range of professions, and to meet other debaters from all across the country. Without this instilling of confidence and concept of challenging everything that didn’t seem correct, I believe my experiences at University College London would’ve been vastly different.
Having made the transition from competitor to alumnus, returning to the competition in 2011/12, I’ve made some wonderful life-long friends, visited several new areas for debating rounds and been lucky enough to intern with the Debating Matters Team.
If Debating Matters has taught me one thing, it’s be prepared to stand your ground, backing up any assertions with up-to-date facts, figures and examples. But- perhaps more importantly – after the debate has finished, be willing to discuss ideas further, and even change your mind on issues.”