It was the second time today when I participated in the Public Speaking Support Group meeting. What is this all about? Well, it's about a bunch of people who love speaking in public, who need these skills in their everyday work and who decided that it's time to do something. It's a diverse group, with different backgrounds, from different domains but all with a positive attitude, willing to go beyond "I'd like to overcome my fear of appearing in front of other individuals" and who actually make the step to become better public speakers.
During a session, held in a nice cafe in the Dorobanti area, with wifi, food and very good coffee, several participants stepped forward to present to the others something about them - a passion (like Tango for instance), a project (like Silent Hunter 5 :) ), something they encounter in their everyday job or something that animates them. It's not only about speaking in public, it's also about intriguing topics and mind opening. It's about speaking about what one loves, so all presentations come straight from the heart. After the talk, everyone gives feedback on how it went and also the participant is asked to share how he / she felt.
Today we talked about branding, about censorship, about presentation preparation and about giving feedback. Overall, it's a really great experience, that goes beyond public speaking into sharing expertise, personal development and networking with great and enthusiastic people.
Just to give you an example, today I talked about giving feedback. My presentation was not a technical one - teaching style - but rather explained my view on giving feedback and shared my thoughts on the matter. While I, myself, have to learn a lot about the subject (both in theory, and, especially, in practice) some of the points covered were:
a) Why it's important to give feedback:
- An opportunity to exchange information and build a communication bridge between all parties
- Self development - takes courage and self control to give an honest feedback
- Self esteem - feels good to tell what you think and do the right think
- Chance of improvement, chance of changing things
- Motivation through recognition
- Chance to find solutions not distribute guilt
b) How to give feedback
- Location and attitude (climate of confidence and trust)
- Positive state of mind, free of anger, willing to do good
- Know exactly WHY yo give feedback, what is the purpose
- Focus on facts and behavior and not on persons
- Importance of not being afraid of giving bad news
- Sandwisch technique
- Asking for feedback on feedback
- Balanced feedback
Looking forward to the next session, held two weeks from now in the same cafe, in the Dorobanti plaza.
Here is a link to a session that was video recorded a few weeks ago (I was not present then and it was not held in the nice cafe in Dorobanti but it's the only video reference I've got):