What it was like debating at Bloomberg?

On Friday 3 March, Franklin Scholars from Langdon Academy and St Edmund Arrowsmith CLC took part in the Frankly Speaking debate competition hosted at Bloomberg's UK offices in London.

Here, Asmaa from Langdon tells us about her experience and what she learnt:

During the debate, I was very nervous. I did not know what was going to happen and how I was going to say my points for the motion. But as I kept speaking I started to feel less nervous and a bit more confident than the beginning. I was also scared because of the opposing team and what they were going to say. Gradually as the competition went on I calmed down and stopped worrying too much. After each debate, I felt really relieved, but at the same time I was very anxious to know whether me and Gloria did enough to go to the semi- finals. When I found out after the first debates, that me and Gloria got into the semi-finals I was overwhelmed and extremely happy for the both of us.

Through the competition, I learnt teamwork. I am usually not good with working with people but it really made me change my mindset and the way I have to think about things to be able to win as a team. I was able to share my good points with my teammate Gloria which helped us in the competition as we both had really good points to give to our opposing team.

I learnt how to focus. Without focusing me and Gloria would not have been able to give Points of Information, so we had to listen to their speeches to understand what they were saying and also give rebuttals to the team which allowed us to gain more points. I would usually lose concentration but the competition allowed me to improve on my focus skills which has also impacted me in school.  I improved on my confidence skills also. I am a very shy person when it comes to having an audience, especially an audience with people I do not know, but this competition has allowed me to gain more confidence not only in my attitude but in my speech. 

I had many highlights but my main highlight was when Seven King's School won the Year 10-11 debate. We were in the final with them and it was amazing knowing that both the schools from east London made it to the end. It was heart-warming. When I first entered the building all I wanted to do was win, but after I realised it was not all about the winning they deserve what they got. Overall I made many new friends from this experience and I have learnt many new lessons. I had an amazing time with all the staff and my school mates including all of the other schools. I loved all the support and had an amazing time on the day.

The competition was run by Benjamin Franklin House.