By Chantelle Nylander – Quartey
Presentation can be everything – especially in the professional world! Though we can appreciate the old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, we can also appreciate that sometimes the impression we create when we first present ourselves may be all that others have to go on, such as an interview or a public speech. No matter what your professional background is, presentation is a universally important skill to develop and one of those things that you can never be educated enough about. Therefore, when you have an organisation like JCI which seeks to develop and empower young people to create positive change in their lives and their communities, it is no wonder that presentation, and moreover public speaking is such a core aspect to the opportunities it provides – at every level.
Having been President of a local chamber this year, I can definitely say that having good presentation skills is a solid component to the role. Nevertheless, though I have taken part in public speaking exercises before, that is not to say that there can never be room for improvement. So when JCI UK featured the last of its Ask Anything Q & A series on ‘Presenting Your Best Self’ I was delighted to tune in and learn more about mastering this art from the panel of experts they hosted on Airmeet. True, a global pandemic has ensured that there weren’t really opportunities to practice the advice but the tips were appreciated just as much.
The aforementioned panel consisted of JCI London’s very own award winning coach Simon Alexander Ong, public speaking trainer Sarah Beckwith and professional networker Ilona Alcock from JCI Manchester. Hosted by past National President Ben Hawley, attendees were treated to introductions by all three panellists before being ‘invited’ to the virtual stage to ask questions that all three would answer. All gave sound advice to each question asked of them, however one of the key things I noticed and enjoyed was how varied the answers were according to the panellist’s personal style. From establishing a clear structure and planning well (Sarah), to conquering nerves to tell a powerful story (Ilona) to creating a personal connection with your audience to hold their attention (Simon), one could walk away feeling as though they got a real comprehensive education on how to present their best self.
This event, as with every JCI event, meets everyone precisely where they’re at. You don’t have to be a pro at public speaking. You could be the shyest person in the world and still feel included due to the warmth and like-mindedness of other JCI members keen to learn and develop themselves too. Since joining myself almost 3 years ago, my confidence has grown immensely and every event you attend (yes, even the virtual ones) is a brilliant chance to network. In short, the opportunities to ‘unlock your potential’ are ongoing. So thanks Simon, Sarah & Ilona and thanks JCI UK!
This post was written by Zoe Toseland