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News 2


Programmes & Events Before January 2012

Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Primary School Children
3 & 4 December 2011
@ English Champ, Taman Megah, PJ

The last time we had this programme for primary school children was more than 2 years ago in 2009. Obviously we were pleased to do it again. This time, we used the "English Champ" premises at Taman Megah, PJ. It was a good move as the centre also helped us to recruit a couple of participants. In total we had 9 participants.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
U-shaped seating arrangement suited the kids very well

At the start of the programme, the children were shy and quiet. Not all were keen to attend the programme. Fortunately, the trainer Azmi Shahrin managed to break the ice by starting a conversation with them about why they might need public speaking. It got most of the children to speak up and thereby warm up to the fact that they were in a public speaking class.

We went through the usual modules using the simplified workbook specially designed for the children. Among the main things they learned was to speak without notes, use hand gestures, stress certain words and stop using speech crutches (sounds like "ah" and "er").

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Gentle coaching by the trainer

All in all, the participants had 3 rounds of practice on the first day and several more rounds on the second day.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

Mealtimes provided some relief from all the drilling. We used the pantry for tea breaks and lunch. For lunch, we had food from KFC and Pizza Hut on the first and second days respectively.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Biscuits for tea break Pizzas for lunch

On the second afternoon, we had to prepare for the graduation ceremony when parents and family members would come to watch the children's final performance.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Chairs arranged Speech titles recorded Parents arrived!

The final round went smoothly. The children did well. However, a few of them were a bit nervous due to the large crowd. With more exposure, they would continue to improve. 4 top prizes were given away.

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1st prize 2nd prize
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
3rd prize 4th prize

Lastly, before we closed, we invited any one parent to speak on behalf of all other parents. The father of Tommy (1st prize winner) said a few words.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

I believe that in the end all the children were glad they attended this programme. We will try our best to have more coming!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
16 & 17 November 2011
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

For this round, registration was quite encouraging. In fact, 10 people registered (full house); however, only 7 made it to the class due to last minute job assignments. On the second day, another participant couldn't make it due to an emergency. We were left with 6 survivors.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Small class meant more personal attention

As this was our 18th session, I thought I had seen most of it. In any case, there were always some small innovations thought up by the trainer Azmi Shahrin to liven things up (for himself at least). As usual, at the beginning of the class, each participant declared his or her "alter ego" - the name by which he or she wanted to be called for the entire duration of the class.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
* The other 2 participants didn't want their photos posted.

Of course, we covered the key modules such as body language (4 elements), vocal variety, speech organization and pronunciation. The course was action-packed till the end with a lot of drilling and practice. All the participants had interesting ideas and stories to share, besides improving their delivery.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Listen up, everyone

The programme ended well, however, I wished that more participants had turned up.

Congratulations to ProSkills Trainers for having conducted 18 sessions of the Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals without fail since January 2009 (once every 2 months). Now that the programme has quite a good reputation, we will work towards making the it even more effective and enjoyable.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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The Sound of English™: Relearning English Pronunciation
8 & 9 October 2011
@ Qualine Edu Success, Sunway

This time, we managed to recruit a respectable 8 participants who attended the training on their own accord i.e. they approached us to register without me having to ask first. This was certainly a welcome relief for me as the organizer. I believe the surge in interest was partly due to the new and more interesting course title replacing the old ambiguous title.

The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation
8 willing participants with a willing trainer

To start off the class, the trainer Azmi Shahrin showed and proved to the participants that they had been pronouncing many common words wrongly all this time. After making his point, he went into the lesson proper by recording each participant's reading of a chosen passage. Then, laying brick upon brick, Azmi took the participants through each module. The first morning focused on single plosives.

We had pizzas for lunch (Domino's delivery) on the first day since it rained heavily and we couldn't walk to OldTown which was our usual lunch place. After lunch, the class continued in a more informal setting. We looked at double plosives and the "schwa".

The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation
A more cosy setting
in the afternoon
Dictionaries were
used intensively

On the second day, we looked at other elements of correct pronunciation including the "th", "z" and "v" sounds till the participants were a bit overloaded with the number of corrections they had to make to their usual way of speaking. Hmm.

The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation
I yawn, you yawn, but let's continue...

At the end of the course, the participants read the same passage that they had read earlier and their readings were recorded again. However, we couldn't watch the videos there and then as there was some incompatibility between the video files and the sound system in the room (which was working fine otherwise). Anyway, I managed to upload all the videos to YouTube that very same night (since I'm using UniFI now) and the participants had accessed the "before" and "after" videos the next day to view their progress.

After every good ending, we naturally hope for a repeat of the event. Therefore, we hope that we can conduct this course more often next year.

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Sandy Tan "abandoned" the participants during lunch on the second afternoon to attend a kenduri kahwin

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
20 & 21 August 2011
@ Shah's Village Hotel, PJ

True to our Ramadan tradition, we offered staggering discounts (60%) to Muslim participants for this round. As a result, 11 participants registered (7 of them qualified for the discount). However, only 9 turned up on the first day and 7 on the second day due to a variety of reasons. Most of them were not feeling well. Anyway, the show went on...

The other challenge was the change of room. On the second day, we had to move to a smaller room because the bigger room was being prepared for a grand buka puasa dinner that night. As it turned out, the smaller room was actually more cosy and had better acoustics.

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1st day: big room 2nd day: small room

As for the programme itself, basically, we focused on body language and speech organization on the first day and vocal variety plus pronunciation on the second day. All in all, the participants had 6 rounds of individual practice including a "graduation speech".

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Only 4 people had lunch on the 2nd day

Despite the challenges, we produced good results as always. After the graduation speech, when asked about the most important skill they had gained during the 2 days, one participant mentioned clear purpose in her speech and another the ability to speak impromptu based on a few main points (no need to memorize word by word). Another participant told me (earlier, over lunch) that the trainer Azmi Shahrin was nice, humble and to-the-point as he didn't use his "power" over the participants to ridicule them or tell his own stories (as he experienced many times in other training programmes).

These are the 7 survivors who graduated from the course:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

Top row, from left:
Athena, Suresh, Dr. Zahrni

2nd row:
Juanna, Norazeha

3rd row:
Elenkovan, Nadiatul

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The next thing for me to do now is to prepare for the next programme in November. :)

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for College & University Students
16 & 17 July 2011
@ Qualine Edu Success, Sunway

The last time we actually put on a programme for the college and university students was exactly 2 years ago. At that time, we managed to recruit only 3 students to join the class (and 4 adults who were roped in). In the 2 years following that, we'd always pushed the students to the adults class due to lack of numbers. This time, however, we got 14 students and had to divert 4 of them to the adults class held 2 weeks earlier. So we were left with 10 students. Maybe the tide is turning... and the importance of acquiring public speaking skills early in life is being realized...

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
10 was a perfect number!

At the start of the class, the trainer Azmi Shahrin asked the participants whether they volunteered themselves for the training or were "forced" by their parents to attend. The results were 50-50. In any case, all of them gave their fullest cooperation and participated actively in the training.

The trainer took them through the usual steps, starting from learning to use hand gestures and the correct body language, right through to learning about speech organization, vocal variety and accurate English pronunciation, all the way peppering the core modules with additional advice on the side.

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3 pairs of siblings attended the programme

As was normal for students' programmes, we had an debate with the girls' team opposing the boys' team (except for one girl who had to join the boys' team due to numerical imbalance).

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Debate time: Discussion and then the fight!

All these young people were leaders in the making. At the beginning of the programme, they were asked to select a character (real life or fictional) by whose name they would respectively be called throughout the 2 days. See what some of them chose:

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Despite their choices here, these are the future benevolent leaders ready to serve humanity; they are capable of profound moral thinking some of which they shared with us in their speeches

We had so much fun that when the programme ended, we felt quite sad as we sang the theme song. Hopefully another class for another group will happen soon enough.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
2 & 3 July 2011
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Another successful programme concluded! Despite some initial problems, we managed to secure our preferred venue i.e. Crystal Crown Hotel and a full house of 11 participants. This included 4 college/university students who were transferred from the class on 16 & 17 July (for college/university students) which was also full!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers

Left: The trainer Azmi Shahrin and 11 participants

Top: Sandy Tan, the organizer

On the first day, I did not have the opportunity to be present during the entire session as I had some errands to run. When I returned in the afternoon, I noticed that the participants were already much better than in the morning, especially in terms of their hand gestures and other body language. I also noticed that the trainer had modified his method slightly to accommodate the "large" class by reducing the length of his lectures and allowing more time for practice. On the first day, we managed 3 rounds of practice for each participant.

On the second day, the trainer focused more on vocal variety and correct pronunciation while at the same time helping the participants reinforce what they had learned on the first day.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Azmi coaching the participants one by one

Some participants had a challenging time trying to enter the class:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Terry Toh, a university student in the UK, registered last summer but couldn't make it to the class. He waited a year to attend this class. Zulkifli called me the evening before the class. The class was full and I had to turn him down. Later he called again so I decided to help him. I persuaded another participant (coming for refresher) to give his seat to Zul.

We believe that in the end everything worked out optimally leaving no regrets to organizer, trainer and participants alike. After 2 "gruelling" days, the class ended beautifully and the graduates were eager to begin their new life of confidence.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
18 & 19 May 2011
@ Shah's Village Hotel, PJ

This was our 15th session since January 2009. We had 9 eager participants most of whom registered early. Among them were 3 college students while the rest were working adults in varous industries.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Day 1 Day 2

At the beginning of the programme, the participants were asked to name their "worst fear" about public speaking. By far the most common fear was "forgetting what to say". This problem was addressed immediately when participants were taught to speak sponteneously without using notes and wihtout memorizing. They were also taught to organize their content in an easy-to-remember format later in the programme.

Besides this, the participants' delivery style had to be polished. Throughout the programme, the trainer "huffed and puffed" to ensure progress. The high level of energy emanating from the trainer also rubbed onto the participants.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Active guidance from the trainer
- give eye contact,
use your hands,
speak louder, etc.
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

I was surprised that we were the only group at the hotel on those 2 days. As a result, we were given a set meal for lunch instead of buffet on both days. The lunch and tea breaks provided an opportunity for us to rest and to chit chat with one another.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Debate time: Discussion and then the fight!

At the end of the programme, we had produced another batch of graduates who now had a brighter future thanks to possessing better communication skills. Congratulation to the trainer Azmi Shahrin and all the 9 participants!

Bonus photo:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme A peek from outside...

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
12 & 13 March 2011
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

It's amazing how it could be so difficult to recruit participants at certain times, and so easy at other times. This round, the registration was encouraging from the start. In the end, we had 11 participants. This was after turning away several latecomers (12th person onwards) in order to maintain the effectiveness of the training.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Full house - this doesn't happen every time!

What a group of students we had! On the first day, everyone was excited and arrived on time. Besides the high energy level, this group was interesting in a few other ways. The most obvious one was a high concentration of people working in pharmaceutical companies. 4 out of 11! 3 participants came from outstation - Ipoh, Kuantan and Seremban.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
4 participants from pharmaceutical companies
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

The class progressed smoothly, but not strictly according to the timetable; the trainer Azmi liked to “play by ear” based on the actual situation. Due to the large number of participants, he shortened the lectures to allow more time for practice. For one particular module, he didn't even lecture but right away drilled the participants on the required skills. To make the participants' progress even more dramatic, Azmi corrected each person's most obvious mistakes early on.

The right stance while speaking:
Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Stand straight Feet slightly apart Don't pace

In short, all of us enjoyed 2 days of great and interesting speeches. Now that they "dared to speak", the participants unleashed their creative ideas in speech after speech! Witnessing this transformation made me feel glad to have organized this programme.

Once again, the video of "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr. was played to provide the final touch before we closed with the presentation of certificates and "last words". So that's it, we did it again!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Speak Right!™ English Pronunciation Programme
15 & 16 January 2011
@ Qualine Edu Success, Sunway

This was our first attempt to resurrect this programme after not having conducted it at all last year (not as a public programme). The catalyst was 2 firm registrations that came in early. In order not to disappoint those who registered, we had to round up more people to make this session a reality. In the end, I manage to get 6 more people to attend including our 3 Associate Trainers. This course was to be part of their training as a trainer!

The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation
Conducive training venue

The class commenced as usual with participants reading a passage and having the reading recorded. Then the trainer Azmi Shahrin took the participants through each module starting with the plosives, moving on to the "schwa" and others. Some of the participants were quite incredulous that they had been doing the wrong thing all this time!

For lunch, we walked a short distance to OldTown White Coffee on both days. It was a welcome break for the mouth and the tongue.

The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation The Sound of English: Relearning English Pronunciation
Eat first, we continue later...

We managed to cover the entire syllabus. The only disappointment was that the sound system in the training room didn't work and the participants couldn't watch and compare their "before" and "after" videos on the spot. The videos would be made available to them after the class. In any case, it was clear that everyone made progress.

In my closing speech, I remarked that even if the participants didn't get everything right immediately, at least they were now aware of their past errors. This would go a long way because much progress could then be achieved subconsciously.

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Awareness is key

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
12 & 13 January 2011
@ Shah's Village Hotel, PJ

This was our 13th session since we started running this course in January 2009. Again, I faced some difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of participants. Ten days before the class, we had 3 participants only! However, cancellation or postponement was not an option. Some last minute action saved the day. In the end, we had 8 participants. Since it was too late to book our usual hotel, we ended up at Shah's Village, which was not too bad!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Inside and immediately outside the training room

The next challenge was I fell sick! As a result, I couldn't pay full attention to the proceedings. Anyway, the class was good and progressed as usual. The small number of participants helped. It was fun too. In the first round of practice, the participants had to choose a character (real life or fictional, dead or alive) and introduce himself/herself as if he/she were that person. I discovered that the participants admired a range of interesting people, some of whom I had never heard of (due to my lack of general knowledge).

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Clockwise from top left:
Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Rapunzel, Tony Fernandes, Eryka Badu, Carol Burnett, Lexi Gray, Sawada
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

And so during many rounds of practices with simple yet interesting topics, the participants were directly coached by the trainer to apply more and more of the public speaking skills till finally they could put everything together.

On the second day, I had to leave after lunch. The trainer concluded the session nicely. Some of the participants later sms-ed me to say that the course was beneficial and that they would recommend it to their friends. I hope it works so that the future rounds will be easier for me to organize. A note of appreciation to the trainer and all participants!

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Trying my best to be upbeat despite not feeling well

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
20 & 21 November 2010
@ Pusat Tuisyen Kurnia, Aman Suria, PJ

It's been a year since we last conducted a public programme for students. Perhaps due to the accumulated interest over a long period of time, suddenly, it was like everybody wanted to register. In the end, we had 15 participants, exceeding our self-imposed limit of 10. However, we managed to arrange for another classroom to be made available in order to break the participants into 2 groups during the practical sessions. It turned out very well.

For each module, the "chief trainer" Azmi Shahrin gave the lecture/talk and then the participants broke into 2 groups - one group was handled by Azmi and the other by me (alternately). This shortened the waiting time for all the participants and we managed to have more rounds of speeches and practice. As a result, the participants learned very fast and everything was on schedule. However, the 2 groups were joined during the debate session at the end of the first day. The topic was "Women is the cause of all the problems in the world". Contrary to expectations, the girls had to propose while the guys had to oppose!

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme They really enjoyed themselves... these photos were taken during the debate session...

Then came the time for the participants to show off their newfound talents to their parents. At the end of the second day, parents streamed in some bringing along other kids. The classroom was almost too small to hold everyone in. This added to the "heat".

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Parents and participants all squeezed into this classroom!

Despite the inevitable "stress" caused by a large audience, the participants overcame all obstacles, presented their final speeches and received their certificates. We also gave away 3 main prizes and 2 consolation prizes for the best speakers. The parents were pleased. Some of them didn't know their son or daughter could speak the way they did!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
1st prize 2nd prize 3rd prize

It was a satisfying experience. We hope to do more programmes in future.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
6 & 7 November 2010
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Due to the Deepavali holiday and long weekend, we didn't get many participants for this round. Despite the relatively large number of early registrations, eventually we had 6 people only including one person on holiday from Bahrain. Since we had paid in full to the hotel, I found a way to "rope in" my sister to attend the course.

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We drew back the curtains to make the room brighter!

As expected, the small number was beneficial to the participants as each one received much personal attention. The trainer Azmi Shahrin was in his elements too. The course progressed smoothly.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Learn the basics - stop holding your notes and use your hands!

I guess the interesting thing this time was the larger number of speech topics to choose from and the passionate sharing by participants as they presented their respective speeches. As I was also roped in to speak, I shared about "my best holiday" to Sabah which I planned and managed myself from beginning to end, and during which I managed to see some fishes underwater and a huge Rafflesia flower. Who's to know, my sister selected the same topic and spoke about her trip to Alaska where she saw beautiful glaciers and exotic animals. (Obviously, the audience thought her trip was better than mine.) Another participant had a somewhat different experience in Sabah where he had to flee a hotel after being threatened by some natives with a parang. Anyway, the speech topics were only the means to an end, which was to allow us to apply all the public speaking techniques to good effect.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The other 6 participants

We ended the class by watching a video of the most famous speech of all time - "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr. Everyone was touched. All in all, the session was successful and achieved its objective. My sister said to the trianer: "I don't regret being forced to attend." I'm sure the rest also didn't regret. :)

Bonus photo:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
My sis: No regrets!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
28 & 29 August 2010
@ Qualine Edu Success, Sunway

This session promised some peculiarities right from the start. First of all, it was to be conducted during the fasting month. Secondly, the dates were in the middle of a long weekend. As we could find no other dates, we had no choice but to go ahead.

It turned out that many parents took the opportunity to send their children (college or university students) to attend the course, most of them taking advantage of the special discount for Muslims. Eventually, we had 11 participants, 5 of whom were college or university students.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
A big challenge ahead for the trainer

There were other peculiarities. Firstly, the participants got more rounds of practice during the entire programme due to each speech being briefer than was normal. There were 2 impromptu sessions where each participant wrote a question or topic on a piece of paper for another to pick up (and speak on the topic). However, there was no debate session this time.

In any case, the participants learned the same basic skills - how to overcome nervousness and speech crutches, how to use body language and hand gestures, how to stand, make eye contact, vary the voice, use correct pronunciation, etc.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Rows 1 & 2:
6 adults participants (one person didn't want her photos posted), so only 5 here
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Rows 3 & 4:
5 student participants
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The other 6 participants

Unfortunately though, 2 of the students didn't come back the second day!! I later learned from their mother that they felt the session was too serious and intimidating. My own view is that they hadn't reached the point (they were quite young) where achieving results in the shortest possible time would be a major concern (as for the working adults). Anyway, we'll be giving the mother a free seat to attend a future session. She should benefit better, so the problem is considered solved. In future, we have to advise parents that the training method is actually quite aggressive. Come to think of it! The trainer ruefully said it was his first failure in 9 years.

Despite this minor hiccup, the other participants managed to graduate and I believe they were happy with the results!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
5 & 6 July 2010
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

As wished for in my last report, we received a good number of early registrations and successfully moved back to Crystal Crown Hotel for this session.

We had 9 participants including several interesting ones (all were interesting in their own ways). Some came from outstation (1 from Kuala Trengganu, 2 from Johor Bahru). There was even one who came from Kazakhstan! No, just kidding, actually she's been working in Malaysia for 3 years...

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer Azmi Shahrin had to entertain
the 9 participants for 2 days!

The course started and progressed in the normal way. The participants had to learn many public speaking skills and apply them one after another, or rather one on top of another. In any case, the trainer did a good job at pointing out errors early on so that the participants had more time to practise in the correct way even if the theory part of it came later. Practice is key! Basically, the participants went through all the modules from overcoming nervousness, to body language, vocal variety and correct english pronunciation. They learned very fast and became pretty good at it. One innovation this time was the impromptu speech session where each participant had to write a question or topic on a piece of paper and put the paper in a container for another to pick up (and speak on the topic). It was fun because some of the questions were very interesting.

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Participant from KT being manhandled by the trainer

For the group activity, we had a debate on the topic "Women are the cause of all marital problems" with the ladies proposing and the men opposing. Everyone enjoyed themselves speaking under fire (opposing teams were allowed to throw paper balls at each other). We also found the time to watch the video of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech, considered the best speech ever delivered in human history.

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The course concluded with a final speech from each participant and the presentation of certificates. In my closing speech, I noted that this was the 10th session we had had since we started in January 2009. This means that we have consistently conducted this class once every 2 months since that time! Should give myself a pat on the back!

Ok, we look forward to more classes and helping more people.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
8 & 9 May 2010
@ Qualine Edu Success, Sunway

This was another challenging programme to organize as registration trickled in very slowly until the final week. In the end, we had 9 participants but more than half were late entries. All the same, we prepared ourselves to give the best to all who had registered. This time, we decided to check out a new training venue in Sunway ("new" = our first time using it).

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The new training venue in Sunway - bright and spacious

The training centre was great as far as the facilities were concerned. There was even a prayer room at the ground floor of the block which proved convenient. However, food was a bit of a problem. On the first morning, we were supposed to meet at OldTown White Coffee at 8.15 a.m. but the shop didn't open till 9 a.m. It was tough trying to redirect everyone to 2 different restaurants - a mamak shop for the Malay participants and a Chinese coffee shop for the others. But we got wiser after that and found suitable eating places for lunch and on the second day. Finding food is always an issue as our maximum class size is 10 and it's difficult to cater for a small number.

Food problems aside, we had a great time. Everyone learned quickly. Here are some photos of the participants in action:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

The programme was every effective but since this is the 9th time I'm writing this kind of report for this same course, I've really run out of new words and phrases to describe how great it was. Please refer to earlier reports for more information. :) Anyway, what struck me this round was that the performances became more and more dramatic as the course progressed. During the final session, some participants thumped the table until I thought the table was going to break! According to the trainer, we had to exaggerate during practice so that when we leave the programme, we would still retain some of the impact. Well said!

After the certificate-giving ceremony and singing our theme song "Friends For Life", the class was dismissed. Time to look forward to the next round! If many register and do so early, then we can move back to Crystal Crown Hotel.

Bonus photos:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Sandy Tan launched her new hairstyle on the first day of the programme.
Left - Sandy in March 2010, Right - Sandy now

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
6 & 7 March 2010
@ 11C, Jalan SS 21/60, Damansara Utama

For this round, we had 8 participants. However, due to many late registrations I couldn't get hold of a hotel venue at the "last minute", and we had to fall back on the Damansara Utama venue.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The trainer working on the 8 participants

I guess everything went smoothly, though I was more engrossed with my new camera, the semi-pro Canon PowerShot G11. I bought this to overcome the problem of blurred motions during so many of our trainings. The camera proved very useful in capturing bright pictures with the motion frozen (less frustration involved). Anyway, enough about the camera.

To begin with, the participants were already quite good. In this programme, they were taught to be more energetic and enthusiastic, besides some other basic stuff such as body language, vocal variety, correct pronunciation and so on.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Make it lively and dramatic!

The participants had many rounds of practice including an impromptu debate session. The topic again revolved around a variation of the "battle of the sexes" theme. Since there was a lack of females, I was also roped in to play the game. It was 5 males against 4 females, and it was hilarious.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers

Everyone was happy with the results achieved and the progress made. Before the class was dismissed, the participants were given the charge to continue practising and to seize every opportunity to speak up in the real world.

In a way, it was just another programme. But hopefully we will never stop being amazed at the life-changing power of these encounters.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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The Complete Presenter™: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids
6 February 2010
@ Shah's Village Hotel, PJ

The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The trainer Azmi Shahrin & 5 guinea pigs :)

This was the first time we conducted this course. There were 5 participants only - all males!

As this was a first attempt, we had much to learn through trial and error, basically in trying to figure out the best course flow. It was good we had a small class for this first session as it allowed us more space to experiment. What eventually transpired was quite different from what was planned, but it worked well. All the participants did their "homework" and brought along their pre-crafted presentations. After presenting it for the first time, the trainer went straight into evaluating their PowerPoint slides. Later, he expounded some general guidelines for creating great slides. As the participants presented, the trainer also helped them with their delivery style.

For the second round of presentations, most participants delivered the same but a much improved version of their earlier presentation (they were given time to make changes). They were also taught to make their presentations more exciting by being enthusiastic and using vivid words.

The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids
The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids Each with his
own style!
The Complete Presenter: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids

Everyone was happy in the end but now we need to revamp the course flow and the workbook for future use. Hopefully, we will discover the optimal approach after several attempts.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
11 & 12 January 2010
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The people did look smaller in a bigger room!

This programme was a first-time in 2 ways. It was the first time we organized this course on weekdays (Monday & Tuesday). Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly), the response was equally good compared to when we had it on weekends. It was also very interesting that the participants actually arrived at the venue earlier than they did on weekends, despite the heavier traffic. Next, it was the first time that we got "delegated" to a bigger seminar room at Crystal Crown because our usual room was already booked by some other party. In the end, we found that the bigger room was better despite our earlier reservations.

9 participants registered but only 8 made it. 4 were sponsored by their respective employers, 2 paid for themselves, and another 2 were their own bosses. The females were outnumbered this time by 2 to 6.

The programme proceeded smoothly. As usual, in the end, everyone could speak with confidence and style. Here are some photos of the participants delivering their speeches:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme The 8 enthusiastic participants! Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

In any case, I think the most excited person was the trainer himself as the following photos show:

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer

It took us a year to establish the credibility of this programme and we just hope that things will get better and better!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ for Executives & Professionals
Dare To Speak™ for Students
The Complete Presenter™: Mastering PowerPoint & Visual Aids
The Sound of English™ (English Pronunciation)
Kursus Pengucapan Awam Bebas Bersuara