Debate Like a World Champion

Most of us have learned to read and write. But how many of us have learned to speak? Not talk but really speak. Think of the great speeches that have changed the course of history – Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, Churchill’s “We shall fight them on the beaches”, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”. And even if you don’t have grand political ambitions good public speaking skills are invaluable in any chosen path of life.

That’s why for the third year running Intelligence Squared have joined forces with Debate Mate, an organisation which has had extraordinary results training school students to argue and debate. We are staging a series of two-day workshops for 10-18 year olds that will give young people the edge.

Since 2011 we’ve brought together more than 350 students for our debating courses: they practise public speaking skills in small groups, learn to craft their arguments and take part in interactive lectures that expand their knowledge of human rights, criminal law, and the crisis in our economy. Once the training is up, the students battle it out and select their winners in a grand debate finale.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or already a master debater, come along to this programme in the Easter holidays. All teachers are world-class experienced debaters.

Learn new techniques, speak persuasively and defend your opinions. Debating develops confidence and skills in analysis and critical thinking, it can improve exam results and taking part looks excellent on university applications. Most of all, it’s fun!

For more details on the programme and its different levels, please see the links below:

Overview | Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced


Supporting Debate Mate

All profits from the ‘Debate Like a World Champion’ are reinvested into Debate Mate’s charitable endeavours.

For more information about Debate Mate and what they do, visit the Debate Mate website or please watch this video.


  • You can sign up for the course during the Easter holidays 2014 (Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th April 2014)
  • Courses run from 09:00–16:30 on both days
  • These tailored courses are available for 10-18 year olds and are open to students with any level of debating experience

Why debate?

  • Develop communication and public speaking skills in a structured and competitive environment
  • Develop your skills in analysis and critical thinking to improve your grades and get into good universities
  • Build confidence, work as part of a team and articulate your thoughts amongst your peers
  • Transform attitudes and opinions by having your say
  • Enhance your CV and add something different to your University Personal Statements
  • Most importantly, it’s fun!
Why debate?

About the tutors

Erin Fitzgerald

Erin Fitzgerald

Erin is a DPhil Candidate in International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford, where she is studying as a Rhodes Scholar. Her doctoral research focuses on the private military industry in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she conducted field work in 2011. Erin has extensive competitive debate experience and twice judged the Semi-Finals of the World University Debating Championships. She has coached debating in Canada, the UK, Israel, the West Bank, and Spain.

Matt Handley

Matt Handley

Matt is currently studying History at Oxford University and represented the university at the World Universities Debating Championships. Matt reached the Semi Finals and was amongst the top 10 speakers throughout the tournament. He currently oversees the debating section of the Oxford Union. Prior to Oxford he represented England at the World Schools Debating Championships where he was a finalist.

Benedict Sarhangian

Benedict Sarhangian

Benedict has been a mentor with Debate Mate since its first year and has taught the programme in over twenty schools across three continents. He won a scholarship to read for a Masters’ in International History at the LSE, having previously read International Relations & History at the same university. At LSE, Benedict founded and edited The London Globalist, an international affairs magazine with chapters across the world.

* All mentors are DBS checked (Enhanced Disclosure) and are fully trained.

Parental Feedback from previous courses

Just to let you know Edward and George enjoyed the day enormously. George who I was a bit concerned about said it was the best day of the holidays!! Looking forward to hearing about future courses!

I am the parent of Cameron and Alex. They both really enjoyed the debating course and appear to have got a lot out of it judging by the quality of their daily arguments! In fact Cameron is teaching younger children debating skills as part of his community service. I know that what he learnt with you will be invaluable. Thanks again for an inspiring few days.

I know that Lily and Alice absolutely loved the two days and found them so valuable. We would definitely be interested in other courses and will tell our friends.


For more information and any questions, contact Laura La Frenais at laura.lafrenais
or call 020 7792 4830


The Godolphin and Latymer School
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