When a kid is going off to college, we always give them the following piece of advice:
“If you want to get a competitive edge over your classmates, try joining the debating society.”
Debating societies have traditionally been amongst the most exclusive and prestigious clubs at the best universities. The Oxford Union is probably the most famous one, and Harvard’s is a big deal, as well. So if you want to get in tight with the next generation of people calling the shots, this is the place to do it.
Why is this so?
Simply put, if you ever aspire to be a leader (a Senator or a President, say, or a CEO, a General, an activist, or even a person just trying to raise money for a good cause) then you are going to need to learn the art of oration, the art of presentation.
The elites have always known this, which is why they always encouraged their next generation to learn how to give a speech.
And a debating society is the perfect place to get the ball rolling.
Good luck, Kiddo.
[HBR Bonus Link: “How to Rehearse For An Important Presentation”.]
For an intriguing inside look into the world of debating societies which underscores (if not pivots) on the very theme of debate as power in society, check out the podcast https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/debatable .