Many people are bad at public speaking because they fail to prepare adequately.
Preparation, practice and precision are vital to becoming a competent public speaker, English Speaking Union of Malaysia (ESUM) membership co-ordinator Dr Omar Salahuddin Abdullah said.
“Lack of effective preparation is the root cause of bad public speaking. There is no such thing as an impromptu speech. A good public speaker is always prepared.”
Dr Omar added that grammatical fluency is not the key consideration in public speaking. “It is about the expression of ideas rather than language per se. The skills needed for public speaking can also be learnt,” he said at a talk on Public Speaking held in conjunction with the Star Education Fair 2003.
The executive chairman of Atticus International KL also announced the launch of a public speaking competition jointly organised by The Star and ESUM. The contest is open to school, college and university students aged 16 to 20. The winner and runner-up will represent Malaysia at the International Public Speaking Competition to be held in May in London. The theme of the international competition is “Local Value, Global Worth”.
The grand final of the national level competition will be held in April. The research area and topics will be published in The Star.
“The conference will provide a great opportunity for young people from around the world to gather together and discuss issues and ideas,” said Dr Omar.
To prepare students for the competition, a workshop will be held on Jan 29 from 6.30pm-9.30pm at SPA Hall, Ground Floor, Wisma Antah. It will provide tips and techniques on effective public speaking.
Other than publicising the competition and the role of ESUM, Dr Omar also gave tips on public speaking to parents who turned up for the talk.
“There are two types of public speaking – impromptu and prepared speeches. When you give a speech, give an overview of what you intend to talk about. Also keep it short and precise. At the end of your speech, it is always good to summarise.”
The English Speaking Union was founded in London in 1918 by journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench with the objective of promoting international understanding and the effective use of English.
The workshop fee is RM5 (members) and RM10 (non-members). For registration and further details, call 03-2094 3828 (Azi), 03-8921 3675 (Erra) or 03-2166 3661(Ita).
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