The art of eloquence

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

You have to learn to express yourself well orally, because it is an important for social capital. Eloquence courses have been offered this year in several Luxembourg secondary schools. This is a way for willing students to excel.

Making a speech in public can be hellish for some of us. Although young people at school get used to giving presentations, they are far from having the fluency required to captivate an audience. But expressing yourself well orally is essential. It's what makes the difference when it comes to defending your point of view and your ideas. In France, an organisation promotes debating competitions. It's a way of promoting oratorical jousting to enhance the French language, but also to give confidence to young people who don't necessarily have the opportunity to express themselves in public. The concept of the eloquence course, which originated in France, has been introduced in Luxembourg this year in a number of secondary schools for the first time. Volunteer students are coached for a few days with a view to presenting a text of their own and convincing their audience.

Eloquentia is a French association. Its fundamental aim is to teach young people to gain self-confidence, particularly through public speaking. "Personally, I've observed significant differences between different social classes and backgrounds when it comes to public speaking. I've found that this has a significant impact on a psychological and social level, as well as on society as a whole, particularly in terms of citizenship and politics. In a way, it's similar to what the ancient Greeks called iségorie", explains Louny Bostock, contacted by visio, who is one of the experts supervising the young people on these courses in France.

Iségorie promotes equality for all in terms of speaking, with the idea that we should all be a little more confident and competent from a technical, semantic and lexical point of view. It's also about access to speech, to the podium and to media space, which was a sacred principle in ancient Greece, where democracy was based on the idea that everyone should speak, not just listen and obey.

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