Public Speaking? ‘No thank you!’ – That would have been my answer until very recently, Although I would be telling you a lie if I said I love public speaking now and jump at every opportunity. Nevertheless, the fact that I am now able to put together a presentation and overcome my nerves to deliver it is largely, if not exclusively, down to my JCI Reading membership.
As a lawyer, many people are surprised when I tell them that I don’t do a lot of public speaking. My role mainly involves client face-to-face contact , never taking me into the courtroom and rarely putting me in front of large audiences.
JCI Reading’s personal development programme of workshops covering debating, public speaking, presentation skills and spontaneous speech gave me the opportunity to ‘have a go’ and practice such skills, thus, allowing me to make mistakes in a ‘safe environment’ -where the reputation of my employer was not on my shoulders, and where the faces listening are those of my JCI colleagues, not prospective clients or business contacts. Such practice led me to a point in my professional career where I felt confident to deliver legal presentations to local interest groups in 2012.
It’s always good to keep encouraging ourselves to develop and it was with this in mind that I committed to a number of public speaking engagements at the JCI National Convention in Belfast in November last year. As a ‘first timer’ at a national convention I dived in and took advantage of all the opportunities open to me – such as representing JCI Reading in the national extempore (spontaneous speaking) competition and delivering a presentation to the National Council meeting about JCI Reading’s Guide Dogs fundraising and awareness raising project which is running throughout 2012 and 2013. As well as enjoying the convention immensely, having opportunities to again practice my public speaking skills in front of different audiences was of great value to me – and has even made me consider doing more spontaneous speaking work!
That’s what JCI Reading is all about – gaining skills and developing ourselves whilst meeting people and having a good time. I invite anyone in the Reading area to contact us and come along and see what JCI Reading has to offer you.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Stephen Wells