what i do
Teach debating to adult learners
Graded 'Outstanding' by Lambeth Council
Provide one to one interview coaching
Job interviews and media interviews
clients and projects
Debating with Confidence for adult learners
Two successful 8-week courses on debating and its applications for the Lambeth Adult Learning Service. Designed for learners who spoke English as a second language or had significant learning difficulties, the course focused on using debate as a medium to teach employability skills and British values and encourage learners to play an active role in public life. My first graded assessment resulted in an Outstanding rating by Lambeth Council and an invitation to expand the programme.
Debate Camp Rwanda 2014
Following on from the success of Debate Camp 2013, I will be leading a team of debate trainers to Rwanda where we will mentor 300 students from four countries and train the staff of local charity, iDebate Rwanda, who will then roll out the programme across east Africa. You can find out more at www.debatecamp2014.org
Dealing with disagreement in the workplace
A two hour interactive workshop for an enterprise client of the School of Life on how to use the principles of debating to navigate unavoidable disagreement. The client, a well known media agency, wanted to know how to manage disagreements over strategic decision making or ethical dilemmas without damaging valuable relationships. The workshop provided them with a framework for detecting and preventing the mis-representation of their opinions along with advice on how to install the values and customs required to facilitate respectful and constructive debate in the workplace.
Debate workshop on Scottish Independence
The University of Aberdeen flew me up to Scotland for this half day workshop in September with a group of research scientists and PhD students. I carried out an analysis of the arguments made by both sides and then took them through a step by step guide to debating the issue for themselves, using my bespoke methodology.
Thomson Reuters Education and Debating Programme
The Thomson Reuters School Education and Debating Programme aims to widen participation in higher education for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Together we worked with over 100 school pupils in two of London's most economically deprived boroughs, preparing them for their first ever debating competition. The result was a week's work experience with one of the country's top lawyers for the winners and fully funded scholarships for pupils who otherwise would not have been able to afford the costs of university.
Sponsored by the Westminster East Rotary Club, Rotaract Westminster are this year hosting a Model United Nations conference as part of a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world. I was invited to talk about my time in Model UN and the importance of listening as well as speaking when navigating the un-chartered waters of international diplomacy.
A long-standing friendship became a valued partnership when Canary Wharf's Toastmasters clubs combined to host me for an evening of debate training. After a short presentation on how to write and deliver a persuasive speech that can hold up under scrutiny, a panel of volunteers put theory into practice in a series of quickfire debates. Another workshop with the London Athenians in Hammersmith followed later with more on the horizon in the future.
Regent's College is one of the few educational institutions to offer public speaking as an accredited course. I have been invited on several occasions to deliver a masterclass in debating as part of the course with a view to Regent's one day becoming the first British university to formally offer debating as a recognised qualification.
Youth Council Debate Training
After hosting a public debate on the proliferation of betting shops in my home borough of Tower Hamlets, I was invited to work with the Youth Council. My remit was to help them articulate their views on the key issues facing their communities, from tackling knife crime and substance abuse to reforming education and the reducing the voting age to 16. Following a successful review, I look forward to continuing my partnership with this impressive group of young men and women.
Debating for Professionals
Otherwise known as the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the JCI is a global active citizenship charity and has a proud debating tradition. This six week series of two hour evening workshops covers the practical applications of debating skills in the workplace from delivering presentations to answering difficult questions. Aimed at city professionals, delegates include young people just starting their careers to self-employed consultant expanding their businesses.
Young Mayors Training Programme
A six week leadership course for the 25 applicants to become Young Mayor of Tower Hamlets, aged 15-17. My remit was to develop a fun and engaging programme on how to be an active and responsible Young Mayor. This consisted of six 2 hour workshops on all the key skills required for the position, including: public speaking, community engagement, lobbying policy makers, time management, and event planning. My assessment of the applicants will inform the council's short-listing of the 15 candidates who will contest the election next January.
"Tony Koutsoumbos is not only a skilled debater but also has the rare gift of being able to teach effective debating skills. If you get the chance to have him facilitate a Debating Workshop, go grab the chance! In my 13 years as a Toastmaster, his is one of the very best (and I've been to many different workshops). His explanation and expedition of principles of critical thinking and logic will stay with you forever and benefit you in all aspects of speaking,, from formal to informal. Simply put, get yourself along to experience his workshop, take part, if you can and your speaking skills will improve beyond recognition!"
Kate McNeilly, Distinguished Toastmaster at Toastmasters International
"I have been working with Tony, on a individual coaching package and am completely satisfied. I have been able to pick up a logical structure from which to approach any argument, in both proposing and opposing but more importantly Tony has also given me insight into the preparation and development of a persuasive argument. These skills will be useful to me for a long time to come!"
Hartej Singh, Fixed Income Portfolio Manager