As part of our ‘Meet the Arkenauts’ series we asked our Operations Executive, Jen, to share her recent experience of public speaking training, something which we encouraged the whole team to get actively involved with.
I’m sure most people get a similar mental picture when they hear the words “Public Speaking Training”. For me, it’s a grey room, grey vending machine coffee, and an introductory exercise that will require me to (frantically) come up with three interesting facts about myself (a stretch).
It was difficult for me, at first, to see how public speaking training was going to benefit me, especially as I am in a non-client facing role. Similarly, for many employers the question is often – is this going to be a worthwhile investment? Recently a group of colleagues and I bravely embarked on our own Public Speaking Training, and I’d like to share with you three reasons why it was a brilliant decision for us and the business.
- A CONFIDENCE BOOST
The most surprising take away for all of us from the workshop was renewed confidence. I was prepared to make a fool of myself, but the workshop leader helped us to understand how subjective our perceptions of ourselves can be. It is no secret that most of us are our own worst critics, and the workshop environment provided a great opportunity to give and receive objective positive feedback. For many of us, we realised that our worries about how we present or pitch ideas are totally unfounded. I, for example, was sure that everyone could see my hands shaking, but was delighted when no one noticed – and in fact, thought I came across very confident. Facilitating this kind of positive experience where people build each other up is a way employers can take an active role in empowering employees not only to engage clients but to have the charisma and presence to inspire each other to reach business goals.
- IMPROVED COMMUNICATION
Whether or not employers realise it, their employees are public speakers every day. Whether they are on the phone to clients or conversing with each other within or across departments, the ability to communicate in a simple and effective way has the potential to improve efficiency and speed up processes tenfold. There is also an often-overlooked creative benefit – collaboration and sharing ideas is essential to the development of a business, so employees pitching ideas clearly and bouncing ideas around is crucial. Public Speaking Training is not just for client-facing employees, it can provide all employees with the ability to communicate in a more successful way.
- A REFRESHED PERSPECTIVE
One of our values as a business is to be curious. This means questioning known knowns. Before taking part in this Public Speaking workshop I had a particular set of ideas about how to deliver a pitch. These ideas were governed by a set of “rules” concerning the way I should speak, look and even stand. Taking part in this workshop smashed my perception of the “rules” and opened my eyes to different ways to approach public speaking. We learnt that delivering an effective pitch doesn’t require you to impress or intimidate with knowledge, but that actually the key to engaging listeners is to talk to them in the same way you would talk to a friend, conversational, authentic and real.
We all left the workshop revitalised and excited to put what we had learnt into practice. Looking to the future, we now have under our belts improved methods and modes of communicating with clients and each other, a newfound confidence to pursue opportunities for presenting and sharing ideas and a fresh viewpoint that when trying to connect with and inspire others, often the best way is by breaking the rules. Public Speaking Training? Arke approved.