Occupation: Technical Trainer
Joined Colchester Speakers Club: April 2010
I joined the Speakers Club because I needed to improve my confidence levels and my verbal communication – I needed to do this so I could be a more effective trainer.
So it was a mixture of confidence and speaking skills I felt I was lacking. I bought some books – but to improve in this sort of thing you need to do it
Why did you feel you need to improve your public speaking?
I do a lot of in house-training at work but a few years ago was asked to extend this training outside my immediate work place to the outside world. To do this well, I felt I need to raise my proficiency in public speaking.
What is your career to date?
I left school at 16 and became a trainee butcher but then I realised I needed to do something about my educational qualifications so I went back to college to put this right. I am now a technical training manager for a meat company.
My life has been about taking one path or other, finding my weak areas and putting them right
When did you realise you had a problem speaking to large groups?
Once I finished college I got a job where I was dealing with a lot of senior managers and I felt I didn’t get my points across as I wanted to. That meant some of my good insights were lost because I was a bit in awe of the other people and because I couldn’t express myself well enough in their presence.
How did you find out about the Colchester Speakers Club?
By searching on the internet for general ways of improving my confidence, I stumbled across the Association of Speakers Clubs and couldn’t believe what I had found!
What was your first meeting like?
I felt thrown in at the deep end but it was my choice to volunteer for a topic I could have said no, but I didn’t. There were no expectations on me, no pressure I think I managed to speak for about a minute. I have no idea what I talked about but the more experienced people in the club said that to do a minute on your first time was really fantastic!
What stage are you up to in your Speakers Club Guide?
I have done several assignments now – in fact I have nearly completed it!
What have been the benefits of the Speakers Club for you?
The benefits in my short time in the club have been my confidence is much higher and I am meeting some great new people here.
I’m not sure what I expected from the Speaker Club but I was reassured there was a framework that people worked through that gave me a sense of excitement about my future.
What would you say to anyone anxious about speaking in public?
It’s not something you can learn from a book. You need to get right out and do it and the Speakers Club provides a framework for you to work through.