More about Braver Angels Online Debates

What to expect in a Braver Angels Online Debate

While we try to preserve the spirit of our special parliamentary debate, the online experience is different.

  • Some basic knowledge of Zoom meeting controls is helpful.
  • The device you use to connect is important. A laptop or desktop will give you the best view, but tablets work well, too. Phones won’t let you see as much, and dialing in will only give you other participants’ audio (you won’t be able to speak  using a  dial-in connection).
  • Our whips will communicate with you by chat if you would like to speak or ask a question. Only the chair and people recognized by the chair get to talk (only one person can talk at a time) so chatting with whips is the best way you can let them know about you. You can raise your hand, of course, but chatting is better.

In general, though, the online debates are very much like the live ones. Anyone may speak or ask questions (when recognized by the chair). We alternate pro and con speeches, and adjust their times to allow as many people to be heard as we can. We use this form of parliamentary debate to insure civility and evolution of discourse that increases understanding. It might seem unusual if you have not seen it before, but be assured that we use it because it works!

Here is some additional information that we hope will help those new to online debates.

Zoom basics in one page

Here is a short document describing some of the most basic Zoom controls and how to use them in Braver Angels debates.

Some basic Zoom controls

Here is a short video that will show you how to use the basic controls you will need for Braver Angels debates.

Sample Debate 

Here are some Braver Angels volunteers  debating Resolved: Dog people are superior to cat people.

And even more...

Want even more details? Here is a document we send to participants in live debates, modified slightly for online debates.

Join the Debates Team! We want to train you as an Online Debate Chair or member of the event support team!

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