As a Solicitor it is often assumed by people who don’t know me that I must be very confident in speaking publicly as I must surely be in and out of court representing clients in front of judges.
So, today when I stood up in front of a group of parents and carers at a seminar arranged by Mencap, to co-deliver a talk about Wills and Trusts for those who have children or relatives with learning disabilities, you might be surprised to learn that actually I was far from being in my comfort zone. Since qualifying as a solicitor in September 2007, I have worked and specialised in Wills, Trust and Probate law – an area of law that does not take me into court or before judges. All my work is desk based, advising clients as individuals or couples on a face to face basis in the office.
Public speaking has always been something that, to put it mildly, frightens me half to death and has in the past been the cause of sleepless nights and anxiety. Now I’m not going to lie to you – I did not go along today without nerves, but thanks to my time and experience in JCI Reading, I did go along with a certain degree of confidence.
As a JCI Reading member I have attended a number of workshops and training events that have provided me with practical tips to deliver presentations to audiences, whilst managing my feelings of nerves and helping myself to overcome the confidence issues that previously I had with speaking. As a result, while I cannot say that public speaking is something that I necessarily enjoy, I am now no longer struck down with complete fear at the prospect.
Communication, public speaking and presentation skills are regular topics that are included in the JCI Reading programme of events. Not only does this mean that more and more members come along to improve their skills in these areas, but there are opportunities for members like me who do not have the chance in my regular day to day working life, to practice and receive constructive pointers to improve. The value of this for me is that when, like today, I do need to give a presentation in my work, I have confidence that I can do it, know how to prepare and can, possibly, even enjoy the experience a little.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Clare Franklin