Public Speaking Course I – covering some basics

In line with my teacher training vision as set out in project report 2 for my diploma, I attended the first session of my public speaking course at City Lit in Covent Garden London with the actor, David Gwillim.

We followed a number of interesting exercises to highlight and emphasise the basics of speaking. Here are some of the ideas that captured my attention:

  • When public speaking raise your voice. You are rising to meet your audience. It becomes easier for the audience to engage.
  • Vocal energy – Bring effort into speaking to your audience.
  • Belief – Believe in what you are saying and then you will communicate it successfully.
  • Eye contact – conveys your intention as a speaker, while compelling the audiences attention. This is so very important.
  • Pauses – Look people in the eye, hold eye contact (pause), then speak. Take your time, hand gestures are OK.
  • Release – let the jaw go, breath in through the nose. We did a “follow the vocal javelin” exercise……. “zzzZZZZZAAAAAAAARRRRRrrrr” (ask me another time!)
  • Names – vocally lift these out, be “deliberate”. For example, “….he celebrated ‘Orthodox Ukrainian’ Christmas eve on the 6th of January.”
  • Flow – Flow through your lines, place the stress on one word, this engenders the emotional commitment of your audience.

Our group are an eclectic mix of people from all across the globe, so typical of the vibrancy of London. Our tutor, David Gwillim, is an accomplished stage performer, he brings presence and total commitment to his craft. I’m relishing what is to come in the following months.

We’ve been set two homework assignment designed to foster and promote what we worked on during class. We will perform these in class next week when I will report back.

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