Public Speaking Workshop

On the 22nd of June, Victor Deconinck gave a public speaking workshop. The turnout was disappointing but his talk was no less of a success. According to Victor Deconinck, the public speaking and presentation techniques we are taught in class are terrible – they put the audience to sleep! Instead of following the conventional introduction-explanation-conclusion format, a successful speech should first speak to the heart of the audience, then their heads (their rational side), and finally to their hands (their practical side). He also stressed the importance of knowing yourself (make use of your strengths, don’t try to be someone you’re not) and knowing your audience (adapt your talk to the people who will listen to you – age group, socio-economic status etc.). He illustrated his talk with stories from his experiences as a TV presenter and coach, and used well-known speeches like Obama’s to highlight the key elements of a successful speech. Some students also got the opportunity to apply Victor Deconinck’s advice and give a speech of their own.