Verbattle is proud to announce its partnership with The International Debate Education Association (IDEA), which develops, organizes, and promotes debate and debate-related activities in communities throughout the world.
The power of words to move and inspire change knows no boundaries. Verbattle is an inspiring example of the talent and ambition of young people everywhere to influence the world around them.
Over the last fifteen years, I have organised school and university debating competitions across the globe and judged the final of the World Championships on several occasions. Formal debate has great strengths. With only fifteen minutes preparation time, it forces students to think quickly, to be flexible, to understand many angles on a single issue, and to analyse logically.
Yet there are also weaknesses. Formal debates are adjudicated by a panel, not an audience. While this ensures fairness, it reduces the importance of presentation skills to make a case compelling. It encourages debaters to ignore the importance of varied pace, good body language, genuine passion and powerful illustrations in persuasion. Sadly, you can get a long way in competitive debates without being a good public speaker.
The Verbattle Junior competition reinforced the importance of these neglected skills. I saw young people speaking confidently without notes, linking logic to experience, communicating with an audience. Young people to be articulate yet great listeners, logical yet sensitive. This is the only way to change hearts and minds in the real world. It was an inspiration to enjoy hearing the speeches.
I wish Verbattle growth and success in the years to come. It is a magnificent programme.
Neill Harvey-Smith Associate, Garnett Simpson Chair, World Debating Council 2008-10.
Czech Debate Society is a registered non-profit legal body in Czech Republic. Czech
Debate Society has been founded in 2004 as Debate Club Olomouc to support debating
activities in the city of Olomouc, but grew up and transformed into a nationwide
organisation in 2012. One of world’s biggest open international debating tournament
Heart of Europe, national debating competitions for high schools, Roma minority
oriented Life is not Black and White project, own debate community centre and library
in Olomouc and last but not least attempts to reconstruct an old military ammunitions
storage into a schooling and leisure centre in the countryside (MUNA 33 Project)
are just some projects of the society – all this without a single employee using
only volunteers and with minimal overhead costs.