Public Speaking

As a member of our society, you practice with public speaking every week. Many people find public speaking very intimidating. Yet it is a very important skill to master, not only for your study but also for your future career. The weekly practice that Kalliope offers will make it easier to learn to speak with confidence. You will not immediately be thrown in the deep: you will start out with short speeches and will receive much positive feedback. Kalliope is a very safe, supportive environment in which you can comfortably work on your speaking skills. As you keep on practicing for a longer period, you will notice that giving speeches will become more and more natural and that presentations etc. will also become much less frightening. Apart from overcoming fear of speaking, you will also learn specific techniques to convey a message as well and as convincing as possible. We often dedicate special workshops to eloquence, but the skill is often discussed during regular workshops as well. So if you want to overcome any fears of speaking in public and become a convincing speaker, then GDS Kalliope is the right society for you!

Analytic and Critical Thinking

To win a debate, good arguments are not all that is required. You will also need to analyse your arguments, and to rebut the opponent’s arguments. Analysis of arguments is necessary to convey an argument intelligibly and convincingly. Just by saying that a certain policy will have such-and-such affects you will not convince the jury: you also need to explain why it has that effect. By analysing motions and arguments every week, you will learn to think analytically. This is very useful, especially as a student. Better understanding study material, writing papers: all are much easier when you can go about them with an analytical focus. Moreover, you will learn to look critically at the opponent’s arguments. Is what they say actually correct, and are all necessary parts of analysis in place? This critical focus of course will be useful not only in debating: you can also apply it in your studies and other situations. In this way, debating can offer a valuable contribution to your academic skills.


Members of Kalliope often like to say that people join the society for the debating but stay for the ‘gezelligheid’, the Dutch art of feeling at home and comfotable. The society is very good at mixing business and pleasure. After the workshop, the Monday evening debate is extensively discussed in the pub, and every month all members are welcome for a social activity. Because GDS Kalliope is a relatively small society, practically all members know each other so that it is very easy to start out a conversation with anyone. Because many members have shared interest in social issues, small talk in the pub will often develop into lively discussions. With committees, dining groups, the yearly introduction camp, and montly activities, Kalliope is a society that offers both practical skills and social interaction!