Oratorical exercises allow members to become familiar with the techniques of eloquence and to acquire a certain fluency in public speaking.The range oratory exercises is diverse and encompasses conviction or synthesis exercises, improvisations on current subjects and free exercises on a current theme in a format chosen by the speaker. These exercises take place in the presence of a proofreader who makes a critical assessment of the members’ performance; members also share their opinions and advice.
At each meeting, members can meet a personality from the political, economic, social or cultural world. It is a privileged opportunity to discover, learn and discuss a specific topic with a leading speaker. A report of the conferences is published in the Contact magazine.
Beyond the thematic meetings, members are invited to write articles on societal issues in "Contact" (the Olivaint Conference magazine), which is distributed during the meetings and published on this website. These journalism exercises are also corrected, and a prize is awarded each year to the author of the best article. Students are also encouraged to publish opinion pieces in the Belgian press.
At the beginning of each academic year, the Olivaint Conference organizes a two-day training residential seminar for its members. On the program: conferences, debates, training workshops, and team-building activities.
PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST
Every year, the Olivaint Conference organizes a public speaking competition in which members who so wish can participate. Open to the public, it brings together many alumni of the Conference in a quality setting. An independent jury evaluates the students' performances. The competition has several prizes.
The study session of the Olivaint Conference is the highlight of each academic year. The purpose of such session is to allow student members to analyse in detail, with a critical mind, the different aspects of the governance of a country or region through meetings and visits. It is a wonderful experience of working in a group and living together.
PREPARATION OF THE SESSION
At the beginning of the academic year, the Board of Directors, after consultation with the student members, chooses a destination that presents an interest because of its topicality. During the academic year, the Board, in liaison with the student office, prepares the programme for the session in close collaboration with the FPS Foreign Affairs and the Belgian embassy in the country visited. This will lead to the development of a programme of high-level meetings.
Each participant chooses a subject of study from a set of proposed themes and prepares a dossier based on the information he/she has been able to collect in Belgium. During the last meeting of the academic year, participants present their preliminary report to the other student members.
The session is usually held in July and lasts two to three weeks. Meetings with politicians, company visits, exchanges with the local population (especially students) are organized, during which each member can enrich his/her research and critically check whether the information previously collected corresponds to the reality. Social and cultural activities are also organized.
Upon return, student members finalize their report, write an individual thematic contribution, and give an oral presentation during the training weekend. The various contributions, proofread and corrected if necessary, are then published in the session report which is deposited at the Royal Library of Belgium. Interested persons can obtain an electronic version of published reports by requesting it to firstname.lastname@example.org
At the beginning of the second academic semester, the Olivaint Conference organizes a European Weekend. It can count on the support of prestigious guests to discuss Europe's past, present, and future through multiple conferences, workshops and debates. Delegations from foreign student associations are invited. In short, a weekend that focuses on Europe and the development of international friendships.