Let’s talk!

We started our second and last day with the perfectly hosted workshop. Although this is my personal opinion, I strongly believe that the rest of group would agree with me on that statement. We were visited by Tanja Hille and her colleague Cristina from the Progressives Zentrum, which showed us how to debate and argue in the European public sphere. Due to their involvement and thoughtful approach, we finished our morning session reacher with the new experiences and practical skills.

Having introduced ourselves to our guests we’ve been introduced with a few theoretical tips on how to make an argument, make it relevant and then how to engage with arguments. We learn about funny sounding SExI structure, which should help us understand how an argument is made. Once we had found out what each letter stands for – S for statement, Ex for explain and I for illustrate, we got to know what is the argument actually composed of. We had a chance to practise this model on the example of the following topic which we discussed presenting in favor and contra arguments: Citizens should get more votes according to their performace on a current affairs test.

Next step towards a successful debate is to make our argument relevant for our opponent. We were explained then that in order to achieve that, the accurate selection of argument is not enough. The two level scheme is to be use here, with the second being finding a proper explanation to why exactly do I consider chosen point as relevant more than the others. I would say that this is the most difficult part of preparing for any discussion.

The last element of the first panel was a lesson about how to engage with the arguments that our opponents present which we practised basing on another interesting example. An so, after lunch discussing the influence of a brutal and violent video games on people’s behaviour we took a short coffee break, eager to take more valuable inputs from Tanja and Cristina.

For the last hour they prepared a real debate between 8 people. What is worth mentioning is the fact that it was a British parliamentary style debate, so we not only had fun by presenting our arguments on an idea of unified history school curriculum, but we also got to know how the members of British parliament working. To sum up this debate training, we were pleased to listen the feedbacks given to us from the specialists in public sphere.

There is only one drawback of this workshop that I could think of: IT IS SO BAD THAT WE DID NOT HAVE SOME MORE TIME! I’d like to truly thank Tanja and Cristina for this session. 🙂

At the second part of the day we split into 3 groups: German, Polish and Czech. Each group should make a presentation about what their message to the EU is. But the presentation itself should contain some main points: 1) goal 2) groups target 3) media 4) partners 5) info sources 6) strategy 7) your message. Not everyone followed the structure but the main idea could be found in all the presentations.

The first presentation was shown by the German group. They had an idea for a campaign to raise awareness for hate speech. One of the reasons why they chose that topic was that they wanted to connect the European topics with the media bcs that was actually the topic of our seminar.

The second presentation was shown by the Polish group. They tried to promote communication between Germany and Poland by having experts talking about problems that we have nowadays. The “funniest” thing was their slogan: “What can be destroyed by the truth has deserved to be destroyed by the truth.”

The last presentation was from the Czech group. Their main idea was to remind people of all the European advantages, because some tend to forget about the positive sides of European union. They had a catchy slogan: “Don’t forget what you get”.

After the presentations we had a little discussion about the highlights of the day and everybody was really confident and satisfied with all today’s activities. 🙂