The International Business School Suzhou Career Services Team organised a public speaking skills workshop, as part of a series of careers workshops under the theme of ‘communication skills’.
The workshop was organised in response to a survey by Bloomberg, covering 547 companies, that found communication skills are most in demand from recruiters.
Michael Grigg, Managing Director, and Marijn van Cranenburgh, Learning and Development Programme Manager, both from APAX-Point, were invited to IBSS to speak to postgraduate and final year undergraduate students about public speaking skills.
They addressed four challenges about public speaking including nervousness, express one’s self clearly, gaining attention and convincing people.
Michael told attendees that a good presentation should an introduction, which should be short, clear and direct, additional engaging detail and a conclusion, which should also be short, clear and add some action.
He recommended students try to present without PowerPoint slides, in order to attract the audience’s attention through interaction. He used body language, conversation with participants, interaction with Marijn and practical examples to highlight this point.
“I did not enjoy public speaking when I was your age. I got so nervous about presenting. When I was in the university as a vice president, I had the opportunity to present a speech to the president of US. I had to convince Clinton to reduce the cost of university study,” Michael said.
“Practice will develop your confidence and decrease your nervousness.”
During an improvisation practice, participants were divided into groups to practice on randomly selected a topic.
Peng Han, an MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management student, represented his group on the topic of whether it is good to have plastic surgery.
“I was very impressed by this workshop. It was really useful. I have learned important elements and skills of making a good presentation. To have the opportunity to speak on behalf of our group was a valuable practice experience,” he said.
Michael Grigg is an internationally recognised corporate trainer, specialising in training Fortune 500 companies with a specific focus in China.
APAX-Point is a US based training company that delivers high quality professional and leadership training programmes worldwide to people who is going to making an impact on their organisations.