David Hare, playwright extraordinaire, praises public speaking, as opposed to other methods of public discourse:
Underlying this patronising conviction that no one person should be given the floor lies the idea that group discussion is more "democratic" than an individual being licensed to hold forth. My experience is the opposite.An interesting response to British institutions such as Question Time.
When one person speaks and is encouraged to develop his or her ideas, then it is we, the audience, who provide the challenge. We provide the democracy. In each of our hearts and minds, we absorb, judge and come to our own conclusions. The dialectic is, thankfully, not between a group of equally ignorant people thrashing out a series of arbitrary subjects about which they know little and care less. It is between an informed individual who, we hope, has thought long and hard about their own area of specialisation, and an audience which is ready honestly to assess what the speaker has to say. Democracy, like everything else, thrives on preparation.