Public speaking is definitely a skill that can be mastered! On 8 August, the Language Centre’s Comms Lab and the Stellenbosch Toastmasters Club joined forces by hosting a demo Toastmasters meeting and information session in the Language Centre Seminar room. This was an opportunity for anyone to see first-hand how the Toastmasters do things: Prepared speeches, evaluations and impromptu speeches were presented in the structured setting of a Toastmasters meeting.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Toastmasters is about self-development at one’s own pace in a safe and positive environment. According to the Club’s president, Zimbili Sibiya, “We’re a warm and welcoming bunch and visitors are not obliged to participate in any way other than as observers – you won’t be put on the spot!” Over 30 new faces attended the meeting. If you’d like to attend the next Toastmasters meeting, e-mail them for more information.
The Language Centre’s Comms Lab is always on the look-out for partners – such as Toastmasters – to complement its superbly crafted corporate communication offering. Comms Lab courses are practical and interactive and can be tailored to specific needs. Face-to-face full-day sessions are supplemented by online learning, which creates an ideal advantage and convenient option for busy executives or office administrators. On successful completion of a course, a Certificate of Competence is awarded.
The Comms Lab also aims to build long-term relationships with its participants. “We can see from the number of participants re-enrolling for more of our courses that this is working. To name but a few, we’ve had people from Mediclinic, ICLEI, NKC, the Rupert Foundation, Alphawave, USB and Graham Beck Wines attending courses this year,” Michelle Pieters, Comms Lab coordinator, explains.
“It is always inspiring to see someone develop and reach the next step on their way to full potential. One of our recent stars is Sello Sekele, a young and enthusiastic trainee economist at the Bureau for Economic Research in Stellenbosch.” In August, Sello attended the Comms Lab short course Crafting confident presentations presented by Eduard de Kock, a radio personality, experienced MC and interpreter. “This practical and interactive course helped Sello gain enough confidence and public speaking skills to impress his colleagues to such an extent that one of them phoned me to tell me this!” says Michelle. Well done, Sello!
If you’d like to hone your professional communication skills, speak to Michelle to find out how we can help you.