Our students in Zimbabwe, affiliated to a range of studies, including Erase-TB, were able to benefit from a comprehensive three-day course on presentation skills and public speaking, facilitated by Buhlebenkosi Tshabangu-Moyo.
Held at BRTI offices in Harare, day one focused on the technical aspects of presenting, whilst days two and three were devoted to the theme of ‘What is your story?’ to encourage participants to convey their work and proposals to audiences using their own words. Treating the materials and presentation contents as if it was one’s own story encourages believability and engagement.
After viewing some examples of good presentations from a range of public speakers, Buhlebenkosi led the discussion on what experts have to say on public speaking. She emphasised that the process is about much more than what one says (verbal) and the importance of vocal and visual aspects which all interplay to make a successful presentation. Other helpful takeaways included
Making mistakes is normal; continue your presentation as if nothing happened - sometimes people do not even notice the error
Don’t be too hard on yourself! People who are good at public speaking have been doing it for years
If you can tell your story well, your audience will believe you
Always maintain eye contact throughout your presentation
Training participants prepared their presentations in advance and were able to link the technical aspects of their work to the presentation skills learnt. Presentations were then recorded, followed by peer feedback which students were comfortable with.
Buhlebenkosi noted that training was 'very interactive' and therefore a conducive platform for learning and exchanging ideas – all our students agreed and felt that the three days had been hugely beneficial.