19th Century Debate - The Art of Rhetoric Public Speaking Exercises

Mis à jour : 23 sept. 2020

Few years ago, while enjoying a splendid holiday with my entire family in England, one sunny morning, they offered us the opportunity to visit Iron-Bridge, Living Museum in Blist'sHill Victorian Town, Shropshire.

It was an impressive place and if I could be as descriptive as the master of storytelling, Charles Dickson, I would say these exact words:

¨It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, arid vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness.¨ ~Charles Dickens

It was a place to go spend the day, there were so many things to see and do. They provided a great deal of exciting activities for adults and children.

For our delight, we were at the right time, right place when the 19th century debate activity was about to begin.

Two men wearing waist-coats in a Victorian clothing style; one with a top-hat representing the aristocrats, while the other man had a bowler hat representing the working-class.

They looked at us and asked: Would you care to join us?

We quickly realised it was a public debate activity, and they were recruiting volunteers. I raised my hand first followed by Patricia of course and my lovely sister-in-law, Kim.

You can watch the entire debate with the video attached, recorded by my beloved mother on a S7 mobile phone.

Debate in rhetoric is a powerful way of expression, a confrontation between two individuals, or groups who present arguments to support opposing sides of an idea, using incredible tools of persuasion.

Practising debate It's of paramount importance to becoming a better public speaker. If you are interested in this particular debate, we have created flash cards that you can download and share with your students or public speaking coach/mentor.

Dialog flash card sample:

BOSSES: Welcome To Iron Bridge! The Very Cradle Of Our Great Industrial Society, Behold What Man Has Made, A Bridge Of Iron Such As The Nation Shall Not Be Divided But Join For Better Easy Of Their Wants. Mighty Engines Emitting Clouds Of Hissing Steam.

To download all flash cards, please register below and leave us a message.


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