• Training

    Overview of training workshops and how to sign up

    Next one day workshop - Confronting Bias

    Saturday 3rd November

    11.00 am - 4.30 pm at the George on the Strand

    4 places available

     

    Even the most controversial arguments deserve a thoughtful response when made as an honest attempt to persuade, but arguments that set out to mislead (either on purpose or by accident) can do real damage if they are not exposed for what they are early on. This workshop will equip you with some tried and tested techniques for spotting arguments that seek to exploit bias and dismiss evidence, and responding to them before they have time to mislead anyone.

     

    You will learn from typical examples of such arguments that each type has a name to help us identify it and that collectively they are known as 'logical fallacies' . You will also learn what a robust argument should look and sound like, so you can compare the two, before learning how to make your opponent admit they are misleading their audience.

     

    FREE for members and £50 for non-members

    Venue for all training workshops

    (apart from 11th August Debating for Beginners - see here)

    Day and time

    All workshops on Saturdays from 11 am until 4.30 pm (see below for dates).

    Format

    Morning masterclasses and

    afternoon mock debates.

     

    Work in small groups to get comfortable speaking in front of the whole room.

    Admission

    FREE for members

    £50 for non-members

    Debating for Beginners

    January 13th, April 28th and August 11th

    We look at how debates work, when they are most appropriate, and where to start if you are preparing to speak in one for the first time.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will provide an overview of the 3Ps - philosophy position presentation - and some basic techniques for combining them to build a case in defence of your position.

    Structuring your Speech

    February 3rd, May 12th and September 1st

    What to include, what to leave out, and what order to put it all in when you are preparing to give a talk or a speech and don’t have much time.


    Specifically, the workshop will introduce you to the iDEAs methodology that can be applied to any form of persuasive communication from delivering presentations to writing cover letters and, of course, debating.

    Clarifying your Position

    February 17th, June 2nd and September 15th

    How to clearly and concisely communicate exactly where you stand and why, so that your audience can sum up your position in a single sentence.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will show you how to define your position, so that it means the same thing to everyone, and how to explain to your audience in plain English of what it would mean to support your idea.

    Framing the Argument

    March 3rd, June 16th and September 29th

    How to map out major fault lines between different perspectives and use them to generate content, anticipate objections, and stay one step ahead.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will show you how to predict what line of argument someone is likely to take on a particular issue, depending on the world-view they hold, and how to respond if and when they do.

    Engage and Persuade

    March 17th, June 30th and October 13th

    How to build a rapport with your audience, so they see the world through your eyes and give what you have to say the consideration it deserves.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will introduce you to Aristotle's three pillars of rhetoric: ethos, pathos, and logos, and show you how to apply them in live public debates, especially when you are defending an unpopular position.

    Confronting Bias

    March 31st, July 14th and November 3rd

    How to detect and confront attempts (accidental and deliberate) to mislead the audience by jumping to a false conclusion that preys on their biases.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will introduce you to logical fallacies, arguments that jump to conclusions based on false or untested assumptions, but can still be very persuasive if they confirm a widely held bias.

    Taking Questions

    April 14th, July 28th and November 17th

    There are only two reasons you will ever be asked a question in a debate – we look at both and explore how to use the Q&A to influence the audience.

     

    Specifically, the workshop will show you how to answer leading questions designed to undermine you, using examples from past debates, and deal with a hostile questioner without alienating the rest of your audience.

    Competition Rehearsal

    November 24th

    The entirety of this workshop will be devoted to a rehearsal for the Great Debaters Competition to aid speaker teams with their preparations.

     

    This workshop is open to members only.

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WHO WE ARE

The Great Debaters Club is a Limited Company that hosts the twice monthly public debate series, Debating London, and runs a training programme for paying club members and guests. We are registered with Companies House and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The club's company number is 08145920 and our ICO registration number is ZA383930. 

As the sole employee of the company, Tony Koutsoumbos serves as both company Director and Data Controller.

PERSONAL DATA WE COLLECT

All personal data collected by the Great Debaters Club is deliberately and voluntarily shared by the individuals to whom that data relates (data subjects) by asking to join the club's mailing list or becoming a member of the club.

The only data held on individuals on the club's mailing list are their given names, email addresses, and a record of which emails sent by the club they have opened and read.

The same data is held on individuals who have signed up for membership of the club, in addition to their home addresses, their membership tariffs, and a record of private communications exchanged between them and the club's Director, Tony Koutsoumbos. 

The club does not collect or store off-line the IP addresses of any individual that interacts with us, or details of the social media profiles and posts of individuals who join any of our groups or follow us on any platform.

The club does not have access to members' bank details with the exception of those who choose to pay for their membership via a direct transfer to the club's bank account instead of using either of our approved payment processing websites: GoCardeless or PayPal. These details are accessible only through the club's secure on-line banking portal and are not stored anywhere else or shared with any third parties.

The club also collects data on whether paid members are in full-time education or in receipt of state benefits, but only when given freely and required for the purpose of accessing discounts available exclusively to those members. These data are recorded on the club's membership database and are not shared with any third parties.

During our public debates, we also take photos of speakers and audience members, which we use to publicise the activities of the club, and we make audio recordings of the debate, which we use to write feedback summaries for the speakers.  

HOW WE COLLECT PERSONAL DATA

All personal data we collect is given freely and with full knowledge of the purpose for which it will be used, which is clearly stated. Specifically, we collect personal data in the following ways:

- through individuals adding themselves to our mailing list via our two websites: www.greatdebaters.co.uk and www.debatinglondon.com

- through individuals signing up to become paid members of the club, through one of our payment processing websites, or directly by confirming their intention to join by email and - when necessary - making payment via a on-line transfer direct to the club's bank account.

- through individuals adding their names and email addresses to sign-up forms distributed at events, which are promptly destroyed as soon as their details are added to the club's mailing list.

- names and email addresses are also collected when individuals post queries through our websites, email us directly, or sign up for specific events through Google Forms or Eventbrite. However, these details are not stored and are not added to our mailing list unless that individual specifically instructs us to do so.  

- photo and audio data are only collected during public debates (and very occasionally training workshops), which we announce in advance. Audio data from audience members is anonymised with only speakers named during recordings, consent for which is obtained when they join the club. Any participants who do not wish to be included in photographs are directed to the club's photographer to register their objection.

HOW WE KEEP PERSONAL DATA SECURE

Personal data held by the Great Debaters Club is stored on an encrypted password-protected database, which can only be accessed by the club's Director and Data Controller, Tony Koutsoumbos.

We have reviewed the privacy policies of third party partners that hold personal data and sensitive personal data, such as bank details, of club members and individuals on our mailing list to ensure they are compliant with the GDPR, updating our agreements with them where necessary. 

In the event of a data breach, the club's Data Controller, Tony Koutsoumbos, will immediately notify the Information Commissioner's Officer (ICO) and any individuals affected by the breach, and keep both updated of the measures taken to remedy the breach.

SHARING PERSONAL DATA

We only ever share your personal data if required to do so for a legitimate purpose or to comply with a public duty. 

We do not share, under any circumstances, the personal data we hold on any individual for marketing purposes without their explicit consent.

The circumstances under which we do share personal data include:

- names of individuals or organisations, and the services or products purchased by them, issued with a receipt or invoice by the club, which we share with our accountancy firm for the purpose of processing the club's tax returns.

- connecting fellow club members by email, so they can communicate with each other when planning to speak together in a debate.

- sharing access to attendee names and email addresses when co-hosting an event with another organisation granted admin privileges on an event page hosted by an on-line platform, such as eventbrite or meetup. This is for the sole purpose of monitoring ticket sales and partner organisations are not permitted to email attendees directly, other than to provide them with information about the event they have signed up to attend.

HOW YOU CAN ACCESS YOUR PERSONAL DATA

All individuals whose personal data is held by the club are entitled to request the details of the data held and receive a timely response free of charge. You can do this by emailing the data controller at info@greatdebatersclub.co.uk or filling out a query form on one of the club's website. Queries should be addressed to Tony Koutsoumbos, but will be still processed and responded to in the same manner even if they are not.

HOW YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE

Individuals on the club mailing list can unsubscribe by hitting the unsubscribe button at the bottom of any emails they receive from the club, which are almost always sent via messaging platform, Mailchimp.
 
Club members who are signed up to our training programme can unsubscribe by sending an email to club Director, Tony Koutsoumbos with the subject heading 'unsubscribe', which will be acknowledged by a confirmation email and result in your email address being removed from the members mailing list and the club's Google Group for members. Please note, if you do unsubscribe, you will be responsible for checking the details of upcoming training workshops and events, which you will be able to view on the club's website.