Public Speaking Skills

September 29, 2022

A characteristic of good public speakers is that they often pause for a short while between thoughts to give time for the audience to digest what was said. It also conveys thoughtfulness, and emotion as well as emphasises the point that was made.

While a speaker may be confident and in control, this could be spoiled by filling pauses with “um,” “ok,” “you know,” and “like.” These common fillers diminish the credibility of the speaker and distract the audience from the message. Try to let the pauses exist naturally.

To be an effective speaker, we need to also avoid adjectives that are generic and too broad that they have virtually no impact. We hear and see words such as “great”, “awesome”, “amazing” and “very good” in speeches, emails, posts, and videos. These words seem useful, but how much impact do they carry? These words may be used but when used, they must have a clear meaning. For example, a speaker telling the audience, “We are an amazing organisation with excellent products.” This feedback does not give a clear picture to the audience about the organisation and the products. It would be more useful to inform the audience with a more precise statement such as, “Our organisation has affordable products that are proven to be able to save lives.”

In MGS, we provide opportunities for our students to present their thoughts and ideas during lessons and our range of school events. These activities help our students to practise their communication skills and to become more confident orators. We will also be looking for more opportunities in the future, like public speaking competitions and the Model United Nations, to further develop their skills and enable our students to work towards our MGS values of ‘Everyone Learning’ and ‘Everyone Maximising Potential’.

Mr. Loh Ghee Juan, Campus Principal of Matrix Global School brings strong leadership skills along with his extensive background in education. He has served as Deputy Director of Educational Management and Leadership Training Centre with the Ministry of Education Malaysia and as Education Commissioner working with the Prime Minister’s Department from 2009 to 2012.