Do your knees knock together when you face an audience? Take a deep breath and read on.
How many times did your mind go blank every time your turn came to speak before a crowd? Even the most common and obvious facts seem to elude the mind right at that moment! For all those students whose knees turn into jelly at the thought of speaking before the public and whose heart starts pounding frantically when they have to stand up to answer a question, The Hindu’s Newspaper in Education (NIE) session on “speaking skills” at Nalanda Talent School came as a boon.
It was an eye opener session for many who had always evaded speaking before the public. The students of Std. VII learnt not just valuable tips for public speaking, the difference between disseminating factual information and an opinion was discussed in the class. Giving examples of railway stations and bus stops, the NIE resource person, Sudha Rao, said that factual information is presented in monotones without any expression or feeling and is meant to just provide some information. Whereas an opinion is peppered with adjectives and vivid descriptions giving different perspectives of a single event, she added. The students also got some interesting tips on voice modulations that enhanced the impact of the speech.
Public speaking involves a lot of factors like good language, humour, presentation and body language, they were told. The practice session not only gave the students an opportunity to enhance their speaking skills, but also removed the initial hesitation. Many hands went up and the otherwise quiet students opened up and clarified their doubts. During the activity session, the initial inhibitions of many students faded away as they actively took part in it. They were asked to come forward and speak for a minute about their favourite television programme. The excited students took the cue from there and came up with innovative ideas to describe their most preferred show.