By Ruoro kairu
When you think of addressing a crowd, you may want to hide away in a corner where nobody can find you. Sometimes, the fear does not have to come from something so drastic; it can be from addressing a team of coworkers, or even speaking up in public.
If you have trouble speaking your ideas or making a presentation, you don’t have to worry. First, an independent research shows over 70% of people are afraid of speaking in public. Secondly, with proper practice, you can greatly improve your public speaking skills.
I took some time to speak with Judith. She recently graduated from the 7-week Public Speaking Course we offer.
Judith is a corporate lawyer. She works with one of the largest telecommunication organizations in the region. While Judith is a great and reputable lawyer, she says she finds it hard to communicate in social gatherings.
“In court, I know what I’m supposed to do, and when I ought to do it. The same goes for most formal setups. But when it comes to a social gathering, I don’t know what to do. Should I apply the same principles as I do in the court?”
Below is the interview I had with Judith.
1. Why did you want to join the Public Speaking Training?
When it comes to non-formal events, I found it hard to speak or even express myself correctly. Even when I was talking to one or two people, if the occasion was not formal, I’d get stuck on what to do.
I joined the class to learn how to address an informal setting. Secondly, I heard the class was majorly practical. I wanted a place where I could not only learn new material but get a platform to practice it – an aspect that was missing in the other places I tried.
2. What was your perception before the class? Did you have any fears?
I can’t say I had any fears per se, but at first, I thought the class was going to fix all my public speaking problems.
3. Did the class fix all your public speaking problems as you had initially thought?
Yes and no.
I say yes because the class did equip me with all the necessary skills I needed to succeed in my subsequent presentations.
However, I’d also say no. This is because there’s only so much you can learn in class. The effort to excel has to be your own. Even with all the information, if you do not practice, you’ll likely not grow as much as you’d like.
A few days after I had graduated from the class, for example, I was invited to a social gathering. Little did I know the speaker had scheduled me to speak. When I was called to speak, I was hesitant at first, but when I decided to do it, I used the lessons I had learned and the skills I had gathered. In the past, such an experience would have paralyzed me, now; I can easily deliver an informal speech.
4. What was your biggest takeaway from the class?
I have two key lessons that have stuck with me after the class.
One is the place of personal branding as a professional. I did not know that people are unconsciously reviewing how I deliver my presentations, and then judge me on the same. After the class, I am now more than ever conscious of my non-verbal cues and my actions as I deliver a presentation.
Two is there’s a formula to the perfect speech. I imagined there was a formula to formal presentations, but I never did think there was also one for informal presentations. I thought people just wing it. However, the trainer helped us see the connections amongst all great speakers. With the F.A.T and Q.U.I.C.K formulas, I have been able to improve on both my formal and informal presentations.
5. Would you recommend the class to another person? Why?
Absolutely! I would recommend the Public Speaking Class to everyone.
Why? Well, I would like you to know there is always hope. When you put in the effort, you’ll see there is a way, and you’ll be able to see growth in your presentations.
Additionally, I would encourage you to join the class because it is very practical. You don’t just learn what to do; you get to practice what you learn.
You too can grow your presentation and public speaking skills. Join the Public Speaking Class Today.