Kerala

Learn to speak: attitude is everything

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What’s the best way out for a political debutant who would quake in his boots at the prospect of giving a public address and, worse still, finds pitted in the hustings against rivals who can have the audience eating out their hands by virtue of polished oratory skills?

Honesty peppered with a bit of posturing may perhaps save the day. So, admit to being a newcomer before hitting back at the opponent with a “Judge me by my work, not my words” line.

Such tips and training in public speaking are what a Perumbavur-based academy offers candidates contesting the local bodies’ poll but lack the necessary oratorial flourish. With a lot of explanations to do on their tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), SNDP Yogam members are also falling back on the training to turn eloquent.

“So far, close to 10 candidates, mostly women, have undergone our six-day module on public speaking,” said Pradeep Kumar, the proprietor of the academy, who has also advertised the Rs.1,500-course.

For good measure, the academy even prepares speeches for candidates aiming to impress the electorate in meet-the-candidate events, based on the inputs collected from candidates and their supporters on issues of their areas.

The apprehension about speaking before an audience is addressed within the initial couple of days. Giving speeches in front of normal students undergoing classes for personality development at the academy help boost their confidence. Lack of reading is a glaring handicap among many candidates, which limit their capacity to hold the attention of the audience beyond a point.

“A lot of work is put in with regard to making eye contact with the audience, body language, and voice modulation. We take videos of pre-training and post-training performance to prove candidates the progress they have made,” said Mr. Kumar.

But not all are prepared to openly admit their weakness and look for clandestine training sessions.

Some of them have left with the promise to return after the election. After all an elected member has to do a lot more talking.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:19:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/learn-to-speak-attitude-is-everything/article7816572.ece

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