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PIA Press Release
2009/10/08

Caraga Rotarians attend refresher on public speaking

By Rtn. Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

Butuan City (8 October) -- Public speaking is one dreaded assignment that can trigger butterflies inside the belly, alter the voice, shake the knees, and at times set off amnesia particularly if one is not ready to do it and this is true even for the so-called seasoned ones.

Taking a cue from that sad tale, at least 52 Rotarians and Rotaractors of Zone 3-B under District 3860 gathered at the Balanghai Hotel here and attended the half-day Public Speaking Seminar held on the 3rd of October 2009 if only to refresh and polish their capability to talk in front and up front with relish and confidence.

Ms. Nievelinda G. Grandea, herself a Rotarian also from the Rotary Club of Gloria Maris in Cebu City and a roving lecturer for the Rotary Academy, was the main resource speaker for the said seminar. Drawing from her several years of experience as a human resource speaker and consultant from around the globe, she was able to arrest the Caraga audience with her "leg-pulling examples as well as her tried and tested inputs on how to improve one's manner of speaking in public.

She pointed out that many times, when one is invited to speak in public, the question that almost always percolate in one's mind is this: "What should I tell or share with them? Just a little bit of reshaping and re-angling, she suggested that the assigned or invited fellow ought to approach the subject matter this way: "What do they want to hear? She argued that while the two questions seem to be same coin of different sides, the audience-centered rather than the speaker-centered question will help save time in terms of preparation. It will likewise take some pressures off the chest of the invited fellow, who, instead of becoming conscious, will rather attempt to identify with the audience.

She provided pointers also about the need to be aware of the group size, time limit, physical facilities, demographic profile in advance.

"The larger the group, she advised, "the more the speaker should dress, act and speak in a formal manner. Also, "if the venue is big, the speaker should speak in slower, measured beat as the sound of one's voice travels like waves until it reaches the last person in the audience. "For example, she explained, "it is no wonder why emcees in a large stadium would pace their announcement like this: 'Ladiieees annddd geentlemeennnn. Kinddllyy staannnd uppp foorrr theee naationnnaall antheemm'.

As a speaker, she suggested, "you ought to train your voice to be deep and dynamic with the proper volume, pitch, pace, and phrasing. She argued, "the deeper the voice, the more it exudes authority and confidence.

The "gesture ought to be taken cared of also, she suggested, "including the physical movement on stage. As a short workshop, she demonstrated the right gesture, stance, and floor pacing and likewise make the audience do the same.

She emphasized also the need to have an eye contact with the audience, "because this will give the audience the feeling and impression that the speaker is interested with them and that he really speaks from the heart.

Winding up, she maintained that there's no "hard and fast rules in public speaking, though the most important consideration is that it should be significant. She narrated that "at least one senator, who was the main speaker, talked for more than two hours. When Abraham Lincoln stood to say a few words to the Gettysburg audience, he only shared for a few minutes. But his Gettysburg Address got a memorable impact that it became a classic oratorical piece even until now. Yes, not the length but the impact. That is what we mean by significant.

At the bottom line, she highlighted that "one ought to speak direct from the heart. Nothing will get through if it is all pretension. You will only get through if it comes from the heart.

Rotarian Gerard Rikken, District No. 3860 Senior Assistant Governor and Area 5 Coordinator of the Rotary Academy, shared: "with 'Belle' Grandea as the resource person, we have a wonderful learning experience, which we can use in our various contacts.

Participants during said seminar were from the Rotary Club (RC) of Bislig, RC Butuan, RC Downtown Butuan, RC Butuan North, RC Metro Butuan, RC Metro Surigao and RC San Francisco, while a few are from different Rotaract Clubs. (PIA) [top]

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