On 13th August 2021, Cohort 1 of the Upshift Training Program had its fourth session. The objective of this lesson was to take students through public speaking.
The session started with Miss Josephine briefing the students on the career support that Soronko Academy offers and the importance of the soft skills lessons every Friday.
Moving on, the class was joined by Miss Elizabeth Ofori, who was the guest speaker, and students from Code with Agility via zoom. Miss Elizabeth began the class by asking students what they expected from the session, and a few students from both classes spoke about what they expected. The speaker defined what public speaking is by using William Webster’s definition. She asked some students to share their personal experiences with public speaking. Some students revealed that they see public speaking as a fearful experience.
She then shares her experiences of how she deals with public speaking, which is by smiling at her audience and this allows the students to understand that everyone has or has had the fear of speaking in public. She continued by giving some reasons why people are scared of speaking in public, which include: the fear of being judged and the fear of being rejected. Miss Elizabeth taught the students three things to consider when speaking publicly. These three things are voice, presentation, and words. She explained that the pitch of the presenter’s voice and how well he or she sounds are very important.
She also explained that maintaining eye contact and knowing your audience is key to a great public speaking experience. She suggested looking at the audience’s forehead if they can not look into their eyes because it gives the impression that the presenter is looking into the audience’s eyes.
She also highlighted the importance of body language and physical appearance. She hammered strongly on the need to be confident and encouraged the students to always practice and learn from the best in the public speaking field. She did not forget to make the students understand that they will not always receive positive feedback and they must always keep up the positive energy.The students listened to a speech by Maya Angelo and were asked to analyze it.
Miss Elizabeth requested one student from each of Soronko Academy and Code with Agility to give a short presentation before the class finished in order to put what they had learnt to the test. The participants expressed their gratitude for the workshop because they had learned a lot in such a short amount of time. Ms Elizabeth Ofori received a round of applause from the attendees as the session came to a close.