Authentix Coaches' debateMATES program was developed in
1999/2000 by a former president of downtown Toronto's WCB
Toastmasters Club.  It initially went by the name debateMASTERS.

One Thursday evening just into the new Millenium WCB & IT
Toastmasters held their first public debate in Toronto’s elegant
Manulife building.  An artist, Adam Mus, and a coach-consultant, Angus
Cunningham, had created a web site to describe the rules and ethics of
a novel debating process.  On it they assembled some publicly available
research of relevance to a debate Motion in the environmental field
carefully crafted to draw attention to issues that were then being only
lightly debated, but that have since become roiling national and
international debates.  Email messages to approximately 75
Toastmasters and a few others drew visitor’s attention.  A measure of
its success can be gauged from the following results:

  • Twenty nine people attended, one person actually driving 150 miles
    through falling snow to be present
  • Voting results compared to entry polls indicated major shifts in
    opinion had occurred by the time, 100 minutes later, the formal part
    of the debate ended and the votes had been counted
  • Animated debates among more than half of the participants
    continued informally thereafter until closing time in the nearby
    “Groundhog” pub at Toronto's Bloor and Sherbourne Streets
  • Amusing, pointed, and refreshingly educational was the verdict of
    attendees polled in the following days concerning the process
    devised to structure the debate.

After-the-event debriefing in the pub -- of both the issues joined and of
the personal performances of the principal “protagonists” was unable --
it must be said, to focus enough clear energy to make the new debating
format a sustaining commercial reality.  But ..........

debateMATES' program includes four web-based components:
… Debate Plan
Announces the Issues and Motions to be debated and their
venues, comments on their significance, and highlights the
qualifications of the Lead Speakers.  Gives you time to block
out your calendar!

… Next Debate
Presents public domain research relevant to the issues of the
Next Debate.  Gives you a chance to consider participating!

... Last Debate
Reports highlights of the last debate, including the Motion, the
entry poll, and the voting result, and the debate's defining
moments.  Gives you a flavour of what participating might feel

... Debate Rules
Outlines debateMATES philosophy, participation rules, and hints
for debating success, and describes the benefits to the careers of
participants of practicing the application of these principles in
actual debates.  Tells you what to expect during a debate, and
helps you prepare yourself if you wish to participate!
Authentix Coaches
debateMATES Program
Angus Cunningham is the founder and executive coach of Authentix
.  He has 30 years’ experience as an engineer, corporate
executive, management consultant, entrepreneur, business writer,
and insight development coach to entrepreneurs.  He has invented the
Eye-Zen English approach to problem-solving conversation.  For more
information on the debateMATES program or a profile of Angus, click
on the debateMATES and "About Us" pencils in the navigation bar
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