Despite being quite a talkative person, public speaking is not something that comes naturally to me. I get extremely nervous, talk at a hundred miles an hour, terrify anyone within 2 metres of me because of extreme arm-waving and generally end up waffling rubbish, willing time to speed up or the earth to swallow me. Even the thought of it brings butterflies to my stomach.
Since joining jci I have heard fantastic things about jci presenter, so when the opportunity came for me to attend I jumped at the chance and booked myself into the one day session in London. I arrived at a small venue at 9am on a very cold February morning. I didn’t know anyone else on the course and after various introductions and pleasantries we were straight into it.
Without warning we had to go around the room and talk for two minutes about our happiest memory. The pressure was on, and my turn came around at lightspeed. Suddenly I was stood up in front of a room full of strangers and immediately started waffling about some distant memory which I think involved whales. It felt like the longest two minutes of my life yet I still waffled on after the timer had beeped and practically shouted at me to shut up! I finished, sat down red faced and sweaty but feeling relieved that it was finally over. Typically, the thoughts that followed were brilliant things that I COULD have said but didn’t.
As we progressed throughout the day we did a variety of similar exercises and workshops based around growing our confidence, planning our talk, managing our body language, communicating with our audience and using visual aids to assist our speech. We had such a laugh coming up with new things to talk about and attempting to get our points across to each other using various methods and when it came to the final presentations of the day, we were ready.
There were 12 people in our group and you could see that everyone of us had changed so dramatically over the course of the day that you wouldn’t have known it was the same group by the final presentation. We were confident, prepared, charismatic, funny, exciting, passionate and most of all, supportive of each other, willing each other to do well and feel good about presenting.
We had so much fun throughout the day and took away skills which we can harness at any presentation, and the determination to want to practice and share the skills with others. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
–Words by Niki Davies
Categorised in: Training
This post was written by makedo