It is not quite easy to stand before the audience and talk on any specific subject and in fact it requires great amount of skill. People are afraid of many things and while a person finds it very difficult to stand before one or two persons and talk comfortably, it can be well imagined as to how he can perform well before an audience. On account of possession of good communication skills, politicians, executives, trainers and theatre artists are considered to be one among the stalwarts by others.
I had been the director of rural self employment training institute for a year and more and I was instrumental in imparting training to more than 800 trainees and the trainees were mostly from rural areas having minimum qualification.
The main purpose of the training was to impart various skills to the trainees namely; tailoring, photography, servicing of mobile and cell phones and repairing, servicing of air conditioners and many more. However, the skill development alone cannot help any individual in building a better career and apart from the technical skills, each individual requires soft skills namely; communication ability, inter personal relationship, public speaking skills etc.
By acquiring better communication ability, the individual is able to communicate with third parties in a better way and he can do better in marketing his products and services. Similarly, interpersonal relationship enables the individual in developing a cordial and smooth relationship and every entrepreneur is expected to have better relationship with his clients and users at all times.
Taking into consideration the abovementioned requirements by the trainees, it was felt necessary by us to enable the trainees master the public speaking and communication skills.
A two hour session was allotted each day exclusively for the purpose of improving the communication skills. Initially, the trainees were told to read some lines from the local newspaper for the information of other trainees and they were made to stand before the audience. Even though they were nervous during the initial stages; they were able to perform the activities in a better way subsequently. Afterwards, each trainee was allotted some specific topics and he was advised to talk on the subject for about five minutes standing before the audience. Since the trainees were given opportunities to stand before the audience for the second time, they started losing their stage fear and started talking confidently on the chosen subjects.
During the third stage, the trainees were advised to talk on random topics and during this time, even though they were finding it very difficult to talk on unknown subjects, they started talking comfortably through appropriate key words.
When the trainees were asked to talk for the fourth time, they were very much comfortable and they started talking to the audience as if they were full time speakers.
However, this exercise was undertaken in front of an unknown audience and during this time even though they were not comfortable during the initial stages, they started talking comfortably after five to ten minutes.
In fact speaking in front of the audience is not a difficult job. By means of regular practice the habit can be improved to a great extent and those who are willing to speak well before any audience should seize of the opportunities given to them without any reluctance so that they can develop themselves to be a good public speaker