With an eager attitude to gain some knowledge on the skills of Public Speaking, 44 enthusiastic students along with a dozen parents attended The Navhind Times Planet J Workshop – ‘TAKING THE PANIC OUT OF PUBLIC SPEAKING’ on Sunday, September 27 at the Dempo House in Panaji.  The half-day workshop aimed at giving youngsters tips on how to overcome their fear, discussed verbal and non-verbal communication and different types of speeches. Conducted by Farida D’ Silva Dias of the Toastmasters Club, the workshop was extremely interactive and had students participating from the word go.

The session began with students introducing themselves and from each one’s nervous self-introduction it was obvious that that they were experiencing – ‘glossophobia’, the fear of public speaking, and yet were brave enough and wanted to confront it.

The Workshop was divided into three parts, namely, communication and its importance, introduction to public speaking and group discussions.

In the first part Ms D’ Silva Dias Introduced the communication process and touched on three of the different categories of communication. In verbal communication participants displayed their existing skills through an interactive session utilizing voice modulation (volume, tone, pitch, and pace), with an accent on voice quality and pronunciation. In non-verbal communication participants had fun displaying their skills when they worked in duets where one told her story and the other acted it out through gestures. The challenge was not using any hand gestures.

In the second part Ms D’ Silva Dias spoke about the three “P’s of Public Speaking” and stressed on the importance of preparation, practice and presentation. The components of a speech (introduction, body and conclusion) were also extensively explained, with examples. Participants confronted their fears while participating in extemporaneous speaking through storytelling, self debates, and duets on various topics.

In the final session, group discussions, its dynamics and its practice were explained. It was gratifying to hear the three groups who were assigned various topics practice teamwork, leadership skills, negotiation and finally display their skills through seven minute presentations and accept arguments from other participants.