Have you ever been awestruck by awesome public speakers? And have you ever wanted to speak like them? I for one have always wanted to. But honestly I never had the guts to go ahead and put my points across. I came across the participation call for The National Speaking Championship organized by Empowerment Academy last November. I wanted to take part in the competition but I was very unsure at the same time. After a lot of self-conflict, I decided to go for it.
I met some terrific speakers in the pre-competition workshops. Seeing their confidence during the workshops and the competition rounds, my self-doubt reached a new height. But I kept reminding myself: no matter how good the others are, I won’t get intimidated, I won’t quit! I gave my speeches in the preliminary rounds. Sigh! I had feelings of both relief and elation. I was relieved at having spoken in a championship for the very first time. Also, I was elated because I had outdone my own expectations. Even though I could not make it to the advancing rounds of the Championship, that day I realized that fear is just an exaggerated emotion. When we shed our fears, nothing can stop us from marching forth and achieving what we want.
After a brilliant initiative like the National Speaking Championship, Empowerment Academy has now initiated King’s Speaker’s Club. The club is for the students who want to improve their speaking and communication skills. The first session was held on 18th January which comprised of orientation program. The program started with Mr. Umes Shrestha, the Right Brain at Empowerment Academy, giving his insight into the essentials of speaking and introducing the core team to the members of the program. I am fortunate enough to be one of the core members along with four other fantastic people – Barsha Bhandari, Asmita Gyawali, Prajwol Wagle and Ravi Shankar Shah.
The program, which was moderated by Barsha Bhandari, had a lot of ice-breaking activities to initiate the interaction among the participants. We also had Mr. Sagar Satyal and Ms. Bhawana Shrestha give their insights into the significance of public speaking. They congratulated the entire team and encouraged us to take such opportunities. Because a very few institutions promote these kind of platforms where students can express themselves. We also had Mr. Pradeep Ghimire, share his journey in the field of debating and public speaking. He also spoke about the importance of public speaking.
We informed the participants about the structure of the program. One cycle of the program will run for three months on a weekly basis, meaning there will be one session per week. We will have 4 set speakers for a given session who will speak on a pre-decided theme for 3-4 minutes and 4 impromptu speakers who will be given topics on the spot. They will have 30 seconds to brainstorm after which they will have to speak on the topic for 2-3 minutes. Also, to foster equal involvement of the participants, those who won’t speak for the session will judge the speakers. This way they will learn from the experience of the others.
Getting back to my story, I used to think that confident speakers don’t need to practice. However, my perception proved false in the National Speaking Championship where I met people with a lot public speaking experience. But they were as nervous as I was. They were different only because they owned their ideas and their speech. Like them we also need to believe in ourselves and our thoughts because if we won’t, no one will.