An Overview of Training

The Manchester Debating Union is dedicated to offering accessible training to all university students based in Manchester. Our workshops will both cover the fundamentals of debating and public speaking, as well as offer a more tailored look into becoming a competitive university debater.

We also aim for our training sessions to be inclusive for all. For more information, read our inclusions commitment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

I’m not a strong public speaker—what can the MDU offer me?

Our members join us for a diversity of reasons, and not all of us are born as confident public speakers! However, we at the MDU believe that everyone can benefit from debating, even if they are not necessarily keen on becoming competitive. Debating has the capacity to vastly improve skills like critical thinking and confidence in public speaking. So, come along even if you’re unsure; we’re certain our union has a place for you!

Will I be forced to participate?

We will never force anyone to speak, listen, or participate in any debate. This can be for any reason.

It is worth noting that the motions set in training and at competitions can always be argued in rational and non-offensive ways, and discriminatory arguments or sweeping generalisations are not considered persuasive. For more information, read our inclusions commitment.

Where are the training sessions held?

Both our Monday advanced sessions and Tuesday novice sessions are held in University Place, Oxford Road at the University of Manchester. You can check the events in our Facebook page or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get the room number!

How often are the training sessions?

We hold our training sessions every Tuesday from 5pm to 8pm. After Tuesday sessions, the MDU also heads out for an informal social to unwind. Please don’t hesitate to come along!

I have missed the first training sessions. Can I still come?

Yes! We will gladly make sure you are up-to-date with the rules. Please read about the types of training sessions we offer for more information on what is expected.

What does a typical training session look like?

In a typical training session, the training officer will conduct a workshop or drills that aim to help people learn and refine debating techniques. Afterwards, we love to have practice debates where we split into smaller groups!

To learn more, visit our Novice Training and Advanced Training pages.