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Public Speaking By the Students and For the Students!

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C for Communication by Tarai Sengupta (Communication and Soft Skills Trainer)

I still remember a Tuesday morning. It was winter. I think 3 years back. I was waiting for a lunch with my friends in front of Barbeque Nation, Saltlake City. The wait was quite long as I had reached a bit early. Tired of waiting, I was peeping into the small coffee shops nearby. Well, there was a Coffee Day. Interestingly each table was occupied with 2 or 3 people, steam oozing out of the coffee cups and men and women lazily busy with conversations. I had no work. With a kindle in my hand I was simply observing. Well, not just observing but also lip reading. I kept on guessing what these people were talking about. Don’t know it’s right or wrong, but definitely interesting. The only way the activity got exciting was the varied expressions. Now, can we call this communication? Yes, of course! Communication is the exchange of thoughts, ideas, expressions. Medium is not always verbal. It is more important whether the idea has been well conveyed.

Communication needs flexibility of expression and confidence to interact. A major barrier of communication is language. Majority thinks that communicating in a language apart from the usual mother tongue, is extremely difficult and the fear or sense of embarrassment become a major hurdle in expressing one’s thoughts. We have to understand that making a mistake is a relative concept. Mistake in grammar is less important than the willingness to interact. A prerequisite of effective communication is definitely to overcome hesitation. Now the question arises, how really to overcome this hurdle. The best possible solution is practice. Enormous and continuous practice. And such practice is best aided through training.

Getting trained with the skill of communication has gained importance over the years. A classroom will always provide a platform to interact with others and the fear of miscommunication will vanish in hours. A major hurdle is finding the right kind of vocabulary while speaking in public. Often the mind would go blank and getting hold of a single word becomes a mammoth task. This is where good training would pitch in. Conversation, discussion, debates, extempore will always work like a catalyst to boost up one’s confidence to interact and communicate.

Training enables one to master the right body language which would include gestures, movements, sophistication, polish, eye contact, postures. At home or with our comfortable groups, we generally are reluctant about using the correct body language as we indulge in informal conversations. But the art of public speaking or interacting in an interview situation, talking to colleagues, reciprocating in a classroom, will always encourage a formal conversation. And this is where one needs to adopt certain formal ways of interaction. An opportunity to get rightly trained therefore, forms an integral part of effective and appropriate communication.

The above discussion makes it quite clear that one has to overcome the stress of communicating in public. Barriers like physical distance, emotional hangovers, language restrictions, lack of expression, technological glitches, cultural differences, age gap, may be overcome with the right kind of training and an able trainer. The trainer should be approachable, understanding, confident and must possess the ability to cater to the varied challenges that the students face. On the other hand, the students too need to believe and have faith in the various methods of training and cooperate to deliver the best. Effective communication will improve relations, will initiate discussions, and enable healthy interaction…

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i. Public Speaking By the Students and For the Students! - An initiative of the students of Business English. The students as participants will talk on various relevant topics. ii. Relevance of FA (Fi

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