• Over 120 municipalities know how to find us
  • We are a partner of the VNG (Association of Dutch Municipalities) since 2002
  • A separate team that work for the local government exclusively

Representatives of the people and administrators are expected to be persuasive, whether in performances inside or outside the council hall. Every municipality is different and at the same time, as a council, you want to profit from knowledge and experience gained elsewhere.

Political Debating Skills

  • Every module is completely customized
  • Your trainers are experienced debaters who know about local politics
  • References are available in abundance

The Debating Scan

An experienced trainer will take a seat on the public gallery to experience the cycle of an assembly and to have an excellent image of the ins and outs of the assembly. Based on this you will receive extensive feedback with strong points and points of improvement. Ideal as an overture for a training or to have a well-substantiated discussion in your municipality.

Political Debating skills

After the observation of the current debating of your party or council, the workshop Political Debating Skills will improve exactly the points the participants need. Debat.NL exclusively works with very experienced debaters who have a thorough background in local politics. A workshop always entails 80% exercise and 20% personal feedback. That is how you can give persuasion to any politician.


The council member will play the leading role themselves in a stimulating simulation of the real council, in which all aspects of a good debate will pass by in a realistic setting. With typical ‘traps’, surprising turns and local habits all relevant procedures and techniques will pass by and we will lay a solid foundation for better debates.

Coaching in Debating

A politician will improve quickly when he is being coached one-on-one. Your strong points will be utilized optimally and your less strong points will be improved. Debat.NL coaches numerous aldermen, council members and mayors to improve their persuasion. That is how you will start any debate well-prepared.


In Rotterdam, Debat.NL is supporting the current as well as the previous council to improve their debating skills. A smart combination of making agreements about the manners and concrete tips and techniques to have a really good debate guarantees a high quality in debating in the assembly in Rotterdam.


In Leeuwarden, Debat.NL’s trainers have provided a number of inspiring workshops to give the council the right debating techniques. The combination of Political Debating Skills and a simulation was valued highly.


After several observations of the assembly cycle a customized programme was developed by Debat.NL’s trainers. We provided a meeting in which Political Debating Skills were central and the participants were able to apply the techniques that e.g. Obama uses in his speeches to be more persuasive.


In Bunshoten, Debat.NL helps to shape the starters’ programme of the new council with two session Political Debating Skills and a simulation. With these, we specifically practice the necessary skills and we make the council members practice in a realistic setting, using all the techniques that they will use in the assembly a week later.


Debating difficult? The council members in Kampen show it isn’t. After a debating scan, Debat.NL’s trainers had a good overview of the points to improve. In a customized programme the council members started working on them enthusiastically!


During the last period, Debat.NL helped the municipality of Leiderdorp to defend their plans in the council and to debate persuasively with council members and inhabitants about the realisation of the new plans.

Action program Local Government

Debat.NL is a fixed partner in the Action Programme Local Government for all debating workshops. We develop the programmes and are responsible for a workshop of the highest possible quality. All our workshops in the Action Programme Local Government are evaluated strictly and they consistently get high scores.

Presiding effectively

  • Adjusted to your meeting model
  • Your trainer is an experienced chairperson
  • Practical tips and making clear agreements are central

President’s scan

Every president has his or her own unique qualities which require a personal treatment. During the president’s scan an experienced president’s trainer from Debat.NL will attend a meeting on the public gallery and observe the president’s performance. Which things go well and which go even better? Based on this customized feedback we will make every president grow on the most important matters.

President’s workshop

A practical and interactive workshop in which we will look at the skills presidents need to excel in the meeting model on the one hand and we will look at concrete agreements to save the leading thread among the presidents on the other hand. After an amount of time a second meeting will follow if necessary in which we will see to the points that still need improvement.

President’s coaching

A specific, new and inexperienced president who urgently needs to be taken to a higher level in a discrete way. Then pick Debat.NL’s president’s coaching. Is being done regularly in combination with a president’s scan in which we observe the president first and then work towards excellent presiding in a personal session.

Individual workshop

Practising your skills as an individual president in a private group? Then participate in ‘Moderating Professionally’ in half a day, one day or three days, to be able to control every discussion, debate or dialogue in the right way. Click here for more information.


A smart combination of president’s scans and workshops gives a complete picture to the council of the municipality of Steenbergen about the individual qualities of every president. After personal feedback all skills will be discussed and practised in two interactive workshops.


After having made an extensive survey with the different presidents about their learning needs, Debat.NL develops a customized programme of five sessions that follows the assembly cycles in Velsen closely. In this way, the presidents will apply tomorrow what they have learned today.


In Rotterdam, Debat.NL trained the presidents individually After an observation of the various committees, a number of presidents received individual coaching to take their skills to the next level.


In Hoogezand-Sappemeer, Debat.NL observes all presidents using a president’s scan and gives them concrete and manageable feedback, filled with tips, tricks and techniques to make meetings more to the point, quicker and more effective.


Whoever wants to make an effective transition to a new meeting model has to take the key role of the president into account. Debat.NL, together with the presidents of the municipality of Noordoostpolder, looked at the new skills they needed to guide the implementation of the new meeting model and to help to improve the debate.


A powerful council needs powerful presidents, that is what the municipality of Sliedrecht agreed upon. But what does a powerful president do? Together we looked at the president’s profile carefully and we trained the presidents to live up to the profile.

Action Programme Local Government

Debat.NL has been a fixed partner in the Action Programme Local Government for years and exclusively provides president’s workshops that are requested through ‘ALB’. These workshops are evaluated strictly, in order to guarantee the best quality for you.

Why integrity?

  • Every politician has devilish dilemmas
  • A strong sense of integrity prevents big problems
  • Talking about integrity enhances unity in council


Debat.NL offers integrity meetings that are characterized by interaction, depth and practical orientation. A thorough preparation based on the situation in your municipality is only logical, so the right approach is guaranteed.


Your integrity meeting demands an experienced moderator who has a treasure of experience, examples from practice and anecdotes, because of his years of experience with integrity. Furthermore you wish someone who can sense where the sores are.


Council, aldermen as well as administrators have looked at the issue of safeguarding integrity in the municipality of Baarn partly apart and partly together. The mayor had a stimulating role and the dialogue created a lot of connections.


A topic like integrity isn’t brought up easily. Before you know it, someone will get the blame. That is why Veere chose an informal approach, in which council members could speak freely and harmoniously about themselves and each other. It stimulated the relationships within the municipality.


In a small community like Deurne integrity comes is a very delicate subject and there are difficult dilemmas to solve. In a relaxed programme we don’t shy away from thorny issues and we connect integrity with manners in council.


Because of a report (by Femke Halsema), Debat.NL is leading discussion about changes concerning integrity. Are the codes of conduct up-to-date, do the increasing responsibilities of municipalities demand a different approach and how do we secure integrity in partnerships?

The impact of your meeting model

  • Benefit from our knowledge of different meeting models
  • The dos and don’ts of transitions are well known to us
  • Elaborate and independent evaluation on demand

Improve and renew your meeting model

Whether you have a classic board committee model, the IOP (Informing, Opiniating, Decision-making) model or a carousel model, each one demands a deliberate approach that takes the different roles of the council into account. Debat.NL will help you fortify or renew your meeting model.

Improve your board and committee meetings

If your municipality has been using the classical meeting system for years, you can reach more by renewing. Examples are abolishing first and second term or following a council meeting directly by a committee meeting. Debat.NL guides councils to more effective and efficient functioning.

Use the IOP model optimally

A tight system of informing, opiniating and decision-making meetings demands a lot of your council members. With tested exercises, game rules and advices based on experiences elsewhere, your council will keep using the IOP model well.

More effect from the carousel

Who works with a variant of the political market will have to work with interested parties and individual citizens often. The trick is to get the most out of those meetings. Debat.NL prevents that council members have to listen passively or discuss needlessly.


In a courseionion covering several months Debat.NL has, together with the council, kept an eye on the transition to the new meeting model. What problems could occur, what solutions are there and how do we create the next support? The council transitioned succesfully.


Meetings often last longer than they should. The introduction of speaking time is not easy however. Through a precise approach of observation, training and simulation the length of the meetings were shortened considerably.


Through an integral approach in chairman training, simulation and advice a base was made for another approach to meetings and some changes in the meeting rules were made.


An existing meeting model can work just fine. But at the same time people can be disturbed by the effects the meeting rules have on their dealings with each other. Thanks to a dialogue about the order and mutual expectations the necessary clarity was found.


At the transition from old to new council there was a lot of experimenting with a new meeting model that had to relieve a few bottlenecks. Guided by Debat.NL the new council members and chairmen studied up about the new meeting model and learnt how to operate more effective from the start.


Under the guidance of Debat.NL the municipality Midden-Delfland changed to a new meeting model. In an elaborate evaluation where citizens, council members, alderman, registry and the mayor were involved we searched for an optimal composition of the meeting model that does justice to all who are involved.

Citizens’ participation

  • Always a moderator that can take a helicopter view
  • Thorough knowledge and expertise in local topics widely available
  • Able to involve people in a constructive way

Participation and information meetings

Every municipality organizes several meetings to inform and involve inhabitants in the decision making process every year. Sessions like these are not meant to be a session of complaint and they can help the decision making process in a constructive way with a thought-through approach.

Council conferences

Being a council, you sometimes want to break out of the cycle of (assembly) meetings to really delve into a topic. A mix of transferring knowledge, cases and discussion will ensure that the council will master difficult topics and it speeds up the decision making process.

Cooperation or merger meetings

Cooperation between municipalities does not function when it is just imposed from above. A method that works is an enquiry into the mutual interests, having an eye for cultural differences and a dialogue about common goals. You want to organise such an exchange of ideas professionally.

Samenwerking tussen gemeenten werkt niet als dictaat van boven. Wat wel werkt is onderzoek van de wederzijdse belangen, oog voor cultuurverschillen en een dialoog over gemeenschappelijke doelstellingen. Zo een gedachtewisseling wilt u professioneel organiseren.

Out with the council

A council that listens, regularly go out into their own municipality collectively. How do you make sure that people really listen, the understanding between inhabitants and people’s representative grows and creative ideas become a focused approach with results.


Faith in cooperation has to grow. That is why Debat.NL led the kick-off of the merge from early on, together with mayors, municipality secretaries and all civil servants. We provide similar sessions for ‘Gooi & Vechtstreek’, ‘Zevenaar-Westervoort-Duiven-Rijwaarden’ and several alliances in the province of Zuid-Holland.


Topics like preservation of monuments and wealth always lead to heated debates, because it has an effect on individual inhabitants. An independent moderator from Debat.NL makes the discussion cool off and turns spicy oppositions into a curious search for the golden mean.

The airport

An airport guarantees discussion. In the areas around the airports of Lelystad, Twente and Schiphol Debat.NL provides moderators who help the different parties to get out of the trenches. Productive conversations help to see possibilities within the relations and to come up with creative solutions together.


The entire council goes out every two months to go to one or more of the 26 communities to get into a conversation with the inhabitants, accompanied by professionals. Clear themes, an effective agenda and pleasant methods ensure concrete results and agreements.

The Hague

The Hague, to what extent is it a social city? Together with Debat.NL the aldermen toured around all districts to speak about the state of the district with the inhabitants. They had plenty of suggestion to make The Hague highlight its social side.


Doesburg’s administration is looking for innovative and creative ideas to stimulate the local economy. They meet regularly with local businesses to come up with the top 10 best ideas, under guidance of Debat.NL.


What does Venlo look like in the future? A series of city dialogues challenged the inhabitants to share their vision on a wide variety of topics that have a great impact on the lives of the inhabitants.


Something needs to happen with the polder near Teylingen. But what? Under the guidance of an experienced moderator from Debat.NL inhabitants started a conversation about three possible scenarios and their desirability.

Workshops for Mayor and Aldermen

  • Mayor and Aldermen are important for the right image
  • How do you want to come across?
  • How can you get a convincing teamwork?

For many people, mayor and aldermen expressly represent the municipality. That is why their image is essential. Are you ‘E pluribus unum’ or more than that? Mayor and Aldermen profit from a consistent and clear vision in your communication: in the council, in the media and at numerous events. Debat.NL trains and coaches mayors and aldermen in communicating persuasively.

Mayor and aldermen convince

People in the administration like to speak with authority. The authority will improve when mayor and aldermen communicate convincingly. In the workshop ‘Mayor and aldermen convince’ you will work with a senior-trainer to improve your performances behind the meeting table, the lectern and on the podium. In the workshop you will combine a strong communication strategy with training in skills and teambuilding.

Do you have a question?

Peter van der Geer gladly helps you. You can reach him directly via of 023 562 9972.

Media training

You will get the chance to reach a large audience when you are eye-to-eye with a journalist. But the logic of the media rarely matches the logic of government. By practicing wording the right core message, effectively answering difficult question and knowing the tricks of journalists, you will be a lot stronger in the media and you will be quoted wrongly less often.

Personal coaching

Your personal style, your portfolio or your political profile require extra attention sometimes. A couple of coaching sessions can improve this quickly. Not only will you get personal attention, but under the guidance of one of our political communication experts you will work on your specific cases. On the time and place that suits you best.


Over the last 12 years, Debat.NL provided mayors and aldermen in municipalities all over the Netherlands with thorough training in communication. An investment that pays off, because of less hassle and increased governmental authority. Further references on request.


Mayor and aldermen of Zuidplas chose to improve themselves during two workshops about direct communication with the council. The basic workshop, an observation in between and a follow-up workshop enlarged the effectiveness of their performances.


In order to have a strong position in the media, the mayor and aldermen wanted a challenging media training, illustrated with real-life cases from the municipality. Under the eye of the camera, they practised carrying out their core message in a calm and controlled manner, without getting out of balance.


Whether it’s about speeches, debates or interviews in the media, mayor and aldermen wanted to master the tips and tricks in every area. With some homework, footage from the daily practice in Oude-IJsselstreek and feedback from a voice coach the enhanced their impact.