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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals (reports)


View reports of ALL programmes

Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
15 & 16 November 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

This would be the final Dare To Speak™ training programme under ProSkills Trainers. From 2015 onwards, we will be operating under Epic Training Sdn. Bhd. This is also my final full written report. Under Epic, there will be more courses and I will only prepare a picturial report on each programme conducted. To be honest, I have run out of things to say after writing 36 reports (including this one) since 2009.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
This is the trainer Azmi Shahrin, who is still very passionate about public speaking

For this session, we had 11 participants. However, one of them could not make it on the second day (had to attend a wedding) and did not graduate.

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Photos taken on the second day of training

The proceedings for this programme were similar to the one in September. The key modules covered were Elements of Dynamic Delivery I (hand gestures), Elements of Dynamic Delivery II (stance, facial expression & eye contact), Elements of Dynamic Delivery II (vocal projection & variation) and Critical Content (speech organization).

And again, there were opportunities to practise delivering speeches while standing and while seated. The trainer drilled each participant to the maximum so that they would show the maximum improvement over 2 days.

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Ken and Intan delivering their speeches
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Janice and Hayani delivering their speeches

Lunch was OldTown on Day 1 and pizza delivery on Day 2.

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Pizzas from Pizza Hut on Day 2

As mentioned above, 10 participants graduated with certificates:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Ken, Faridatul, Faridah and Hayani received their certificates before the others because they had to leave early
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
Dr. Harish, Janice, Azmi, Sehha, Azah and Intan received their certificates during the closing ceremony

Congratulations to ProSkills Trainers for having successfully conducted the Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals as many as 36 times. We hope that all our past participants will continue to apply the life-changing skills they acquired.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
24 & 25 September 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

This programme was originally scheduled on 8 & 9 September. Due to an oversight, there was clash with another programme which could not be rescheduled. Therefore, we had to change the dates to 24 & 25 September. This caused some difficulties as a fair number of would-be participants cancelled and we had to provide discounts as a "compensation" for those willing to move to the new dates. I also had to look for new participants. In the end, 10 participants attended the training.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

For a change, the training was held in the open space
instead of the usual enclosed room

For this session, the trainer Azmi Shahrin had begun to use the new syllabus which would be officially implemented from 2015 under Epic Training Sdn. Bhd. The key modules are Elements of Dynamic Delivery I (hand gestures), Elements of Dynamic Delivery II (stance, facial expression & eye contact), Elements of Dynamic Delivery II (vocal projection & variation) and Critical Content (speech organization). This new syllabus was evolved over the past few years.

As usual, the trainer expounded each module before the participants were given an opportunity to apply the new skills.

Here are some closed-up shots of the participants delivering their respective speeches:

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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

Another new feature of this session was the opportunity to practise speaking while sitting down. This was in recognition that very often at the workplace, participants would be required to speak while seated.

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Mr. Wong from Kota Kinabalu delivering his speech
while seated

The conference table was put to good use for the above purpose but we did not make use of it for lunch. We had lunch at OldTown on both days for convenience.

As usual, the programme ended with certificate presentation and final comments. Several participants also enquired about our public speaking club as they were interested to continue honing their skills while improving their English.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
19 & 20 July 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

I did not face much difficulty in securing enough registrations for this class. Even though we offered special discounts for Muslim participants (fasting month), only 3 people took up the offer (all were college/university students). This was probably due to the class filling up quickly that I did not have to repeatedly highlight the promotion. We had 12 participants including 5 staff members of a certain company.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer Azmi Shahrin and the 12 participants

As usual, the opening session was spent discussing the problems faced by each participant in public speaking. The trainer did his best to dispel all the fears by providing construction suggestions, ideas and new ways of thinking. After the participants felt more comfortable and confident, the actual teaching and drilling began.

The usual modules were covered including the 4 elements of body language, vocal variation and speech organization. Each module included a short exposition followed by a round of speeches with on-the-spot coaching. The trainer also touched on the elements of a good business presentation by using Steve Jobs as an example.

The following are photos of all 12 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 Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

For lunch on both days, we ate at OldTown White Coffee. We did not eat in because some of the participants (and the trainer) were fasting.

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The participants were allowed to order whatever they wanted

The class ended at 5 p.m. sharp on both days. The final events on the second day were certificate presentation and a photography session.

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Participants filling out the evaluation form at the end of the class

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Free-style photo

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Serious official photo

Two more sessions to go (September & November) before we move to a new arrangement under Epic Training Sdn. Bhd. This programme will be continued but under a slightly different name. :)

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
24 & 25 May 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

We had 7 participants only for this class. A few more did register but could not make it on the 2 days due to last minutes changes. So it was a cosy small group for all concerned.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Change of "location" for the training - we moved it
to the open space at our training centre. I also got
new tablecloths to make the set-up look more classy

Despite the low turnout, the trainer Azmi Shahrin was all out for the training:

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
Azmi explaining the importance of public speaking skills
to the participants

I must not forget to introduce our "star" participant Mr. Ahmed Shahid from the Maldives (expatriate in Malaysia) who had the most magnificent beard any of us had ever seen:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Ahmed introducing himself here

Due to the small class size, the trainer spent more time trying to understand each participant's problems or fears about public speaking, after which he gave an in-depth solution to each problem mentioned.

Of course the main thing remained the main thing, and that would be the expounding of each module followed by individual practice and direct one-to-one coaching. Body language was covered first, followed by vocal variation and speech organization. Correct English pronunciation was covered towards the end of the course.

Each participant had many opportunities to speak during the 2 days:

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

This group was very sporting and open to share about their lives, hobbies, passions and concerns. There was much laughter and fun.

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Lunching in the first day;
on the second day, we had lunch at OldTown

This cute girl had to leave an hour early on the second day. Here's the trainer presenting her the certificate in advance:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

The final module to be covered was correct English pronunciation. Here's the trainer role-playing with a participant to drive home a particular point:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

All in all, I wish more people had attended this course but it was a truly profitable experience for those who did attend. Our star participant (Ahmed), when asked whether he had enjoyed the course, replied that he could not have failed to enjoy it when the trainer was "too effective".

More to come...

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
24 & 25 March 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

Once again, the first hurdle in running this programme was to gather enough participants. I had little difficulty this time as a number of companies registered one or more staff. Only 3 participants registered on their own this time.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer with a good mix of 10 participants

After a brief introduction as to why public speaking skills were so important, the trainer Azmi Shahrin asked each participant to share their fears about public speaking. Some of these "fears" can be seen listed in the picture below. They included "nervousness", "lost for words", "speak too fast" and others.

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The course then proceeded in a play-by-ear manner, catering to the needs of each individual participant, while at the same time ensuring the key modules were covered. The modules were body language, vocal variety, speech organization and correct English pronunciation.

In total, we managed to have 5 rounds of individual hands-on practice. Simple topics were suggested; participants were also allowed to select their own topics including those related to their work. The training method used was again on-the-spot coaching by the trainer. In an intensive training environment like this, it would almost be impossible not to progress quickly.

For lunch, I did make a minor improvement after a participant complained about the food during the last class (mentioned in the course evaluation form).

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Lunching in on Day 1 Lunching out on Day 2

The programme ended well and everyone was happy. Here are the 10 participants receiving their certificates:

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

I am also happy with the results. However, a few more improvements need to be made to bring this programme to a higher level.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
18 & 19 January 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

After running this training programme for 5 years since January 2009, we finally moved it to our own centre. This was the second programme held at this centre. However, registration was not too encouraging as the training was held over a long weekend. I managed to get 8 participants only and decided to give away the last 2 seats for free to "friends".

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The training room was complete by now, the latest additions being the curtains and the projector table

The trainer Azmi Shahrin started off the programme by asking each participant to choose a character by whose name they would be called throughout the 2 days. He said this was done to allow participants to step outside their normal selves so that they could unlearn and relearn more easily.

The next step was asking each participant to name their most common fears in public speaking. These were listed down on the whiteboard and discussed.

The main part of the training then commenced and proceeded smoothly. Body language was covered first, followed by vocal variation and critical content. Correct pronunciation was also covered but more briefly.

The participants had the opportunity to speak many times throughout the 2 days.

The 10 stylish participants:

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Sent by company
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Registered on their own
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Siblings
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More siblings
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Given free seats as members of Kelab Pidato Perdana
(left: Mustafa from Johor Bahru, right: Asri from Penang)

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The trainer paying close attention to each presentation

Drinks and snacks were available around the clock. Lunch had to be brought in.

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Participants having their meals while fellowshipping

I'm beginning to like our centre more and more. It is so convenient.

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Parking "heaven"
during daytime
Muslim participants praying at the spacious surau inside the centre

The training ended well and on time. Certification presentation was the final item on the agenda.

However, several necessary improvements have been identified which includes silencing the air conditioner and procuring better food for lunch. We will work on these and make the centre even better!

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers This is me :)

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
9 & 10 November 2013
@ Hotel Singgahsana, PJ

This was the 30th session of our flagship Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals, and we conducted it at Hotel Singgahsana for the very first time. I liked the place.

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The training was held in Tiara Delima on the Mezzanine Floor

Registration was normal with 10 participants signed up. However, 2 participants who missed the last class (after registering) joined this class, which meant we had 12 persons in the class.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer and 12 participants

As usual, the trainer Azmi Shahrin followed the routine of alternating brief lectures with practice sessions. During every practice session, each participant would deliver a speech and be coached individually. The standard modules were covered. Due to the slightly larger number of participants, it took longer than usual to complete each round; nevertheless we mananged to squeeze in 5 rounds of practice. The quality of speeches was good and the varied backgrounds of the participants made this a lively group.

I believe the participants were happy with the results because a number of them decided to send their children to our future classes (for students or adults).

Besides the spacious training room, the service at Hotel Singgahsana was commendable:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Tea break outside the training room &
buffet lunch at the cafe

Here are the photos of all the 12 participants presenting their respective speeches:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
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From professional speeches to personal stories,
the participants applied all the skills taught in the programme from body language to vocal variety to speech organization

Here is the group photo:

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
* One participant had left when we decided to take this photo

Congratulations to ProSkills Trainers for having successfully organized 30 programmes without a break over 5 years (once every 2 months). We will continue this rhythm. However, all future public programmes will be held at our own centre at Sunway Mentari. :D

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
9 & 10 September 2013
@ @ Jaya33 Convention Centre, PJ

For this round, since the class was scheduled on weekdays, I decided to use the Jaya33 Convention Centre (available on weekdays only) which we had not been to since last year. I booked early to avoid disappointment. I also started recruiting participants early since I knew that generally it was harder to get participants for weekday courses.

The registration was actually quite good; in fact, 10 persons registered. However, 2 of them could not attend due to unavoidable work matters and we were left with 8 participants.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
We were assigned the Boston Room which had the right size for our small group

On the first day, after a hearty breakfast at Coffee Bean, the class kicked off with a round of introductions where the participants shared why they were there and what they feared most in public speaking. It turned out (as was normally the case) that some participants signed up on their own while others were sent by their respective bosses. The trainer gave the assurance that all of them would benefit from the course, including those who were "forced" to attend.

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8 participants in a comfortable training room

After the introductory session, the trainer covered one module after another where each module consisted of a brief explanation followed by a round of speeches. By the end of the first day, we have covered all the elements of body language plus speech organization. On the second day, we covered vocal variety, correct pronunciation, etc.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The trainer Azmi Shahrin was still enthusiastic despite having explained the same stuff hundreds of times before!

The participants had a total of 6 rounds of practice where each person was coached individually and in detail. The "low" number of participants ensured that there was no rushing for time.

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Observation by trainer Coaching by trainer

As usual, everyone exhibited major improvements in their delivery style. However, this group of participants was a bit quiet compared to most other groups. Perhaps it was due to the absence of a "noisy" individual in the class. Still, the trainer did his best to cheer the participants on.

Jaya33 was convenient when it came to food. We had breakfast at Coffee Bean on both days. Lunch on the first day was at Georgetown White Coffee. On the second day, the participants was given the freedom of choice where they could eat anywhere they liked and get refunded provided they presented the receipt. Some ate at Georgetown, while others opted for Subway and still others for McDonald's.

The course ended with the presentaton of certificates:

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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
Participants receiving the certicate of completion

All in all, the programme was a success. We're looking forward to the next programme.

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers Sandy's self-shot photo

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
20 & 21 July 2013
@ Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre, Bangsar

As if to make up for the "low numbers" in the previous programme, the registration for this session was extremely encouraging. This was partly attributable to the special discount which we traditionally gave to Muslim participants during Ramadan. In fact, nearly 3 weeks prior to the class, we already had 11 people sign up. I think I turned down 5 or 6 more who enquired after that time. Eventually I had to accept the 12th participant because his dad called me a few times a day over a few days so I gave in. Ha ha.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
TM Convention Centre is an excellent choice during Ramadan because food is not included in the rental package

Due to the interesting mix of participants, the mood was upbeat. The first round of speeches happened after the morning break. Participants had to introduce themselves as the character which they had selected. Key problems with each participant (in terms of public speaking) was identified by the trainer on the spot and corrected. This was the "informal" coaching method used throughout the programme. On the formal track, each module was covered by means of a brief explanation followed by a practice session. Both tracks worked very well together. The modules covered included body language, vocal variety, speech organization and correct pronunciation. The trainer also threw in some tips for a good PowerPoint presentation.

Food was a bit of a problem but it was easily solved. For tea breaks, I brought in food from outlets such as Secret Recipe and Starbucks. For lunch on the first day, we ate at Secret Recipe. On the second day, I ordered pizzas and chicken wings from Pizza Hut and we had them in the Executive Dining Hall on the ground floor.

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Tea break Lunch at Secret Recipe

All in all, the participants had 5 rounds of individual practice and one-to-one coaching and made reasonable progress. The process was a bit rushed though, due to having 12 of them.

The 12 participants speaking:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
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The course ended on time i.e. at 5 p.m. on both days. The trainer made it a point to start and end on time as some participants were fasting. After certificates were presented and participants filled out the evaluation forms, the class was dismissed.

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Sandy Tan added another successful
programme to her list

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
11 & 12 May 2013
@ Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre, Bangsar

The registration for this session was not very encouraging. It could be due to the uncertainty and hyperactivity surrounding the General Elections. In any case, I worked hard and managed to get 8 participants to attend the class. We went back to the TM Convention Centre.

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Spacious and bright training room for a small group

The course went off to a energetic start. As usual, the trainer Azmi Shahrin was enthusiastic. Since the number was small, he had more time to ask each participant in detail what he or she feared most about public speaking and what he or she wanted to get out of this course. He then assured all present that their respective problems were common and could be overcome.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer Azmi Shahrin, always giving his best

As usual, the key modules covered included body language (4 elements), vocal variety, speech organization and others. And again, the highlight of the course was the personal coaching that the participants received. Each participant had the opportunity to present 6 speeches throughout the programme and was coached intensively. During some of the speeches, the participants were encouraged to speak on topics related to their work.

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
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Each participant got the most out of the training

Course highlight:

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The trainer was attentive throughout to "correct" the participants!

For tea breaks and lunch on both days, I had to buy food from outside and it involved a lot of work. However, I persevered to ensure everyone was happy.

The programme ended with the presentation of certificates and evaluation. Luckily, everyone was happy with their progress over the 2 days. However, I still have to devise a strategy to get more participants for the next round!

Bonus photo:

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers
Sandy Tan: "Whether easy or difficult,
the show goes on as long as I am here!"

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
11 & 12 March 2013
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

For this round, registration was slow at first but it really picked up as the programme dates were fast approaching. In the end, I accepted 11 participants and had to turn away 5 others. I also had some problems booking the training room but fortunately our usual room at Crystal Crown was made available after another event organizer postponed his event date. So we went back to our preferred training venue.

Amazingly, nobody pulled out before the class or on the second day due to work-related emergencies (despite the class being held on weekdays). So we had 11 participants throughout the course.

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Familiar scene of our "usual" training room

In this course, the key modules covered included body language (4 elements), vocal variety, speech organization and others. However, the highlight of the course was the personal coaching that the each participant received. During each round of practice, the participants were coached and directed as to which areas to improve.

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Stand still and don't move around Hold up your hands No giggling please!

A few more photos of personal coaching:

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Besides going through the usual modules, the trainer Azmi Shahrin was always sensitive to the personal needs of the participants by providing opportunities for them to gain skills critical to their work.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Rodziah who had to emcee events at her company was given the special task of being the emcee throughout the course

The trainer also threw in some bonus tips for an effective PowerPoint presentation (not part of this basic course). In the following photos, another participant had the chance to practise with the flipchart.

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

In addition to ordinary speeches, we also had a discussion session where participants had to practise speaking while seated!

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It is necessary to apply all the skills even while seated

Here are closed-up photos of the remaining participants (those not shown above):

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

I believe this was one of the most active and happy groups that we have encountered! Everyone kept the energy level high till the closing session.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
19 & 20 January 2013
@ Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre, Bangsar

It's difficult to believe that the Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme has been running for 4 years. This first session in 2013 marked the beginning of the programme's 5th year of existence. It is very important for us to maintain the interest while improving the programme so that more people can benefit from this highly effective course.

For this first session, we faced some difficulties in getting enough participants but it was overcome with extra effort. In the end, we had 11 participants even though on the second day we were left with 10.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
Comfortable training room at TM Convention Centre

Right from the beginning, the effectiveness of this course lies in the extensive hands-on practice. It was no different in this round. The trainer Azmi Shahrin explained each module briefly and spent the rest of the time coaching the participants individually (after the module was explained). The modules covered included body language (4 elements), vocal variety, speech organization and others.

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No one was spared from personal coaching!

Here are some photos of the participants speaking:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
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For me personally, the most inspiring speech during this entire course was presented by Daniel Tey, who shared how he lost more than 20 kg in a short period of time:

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HAPPINESS.... is being in control of your life :)

In any case, all the participants presented interesting topics relating to their life and career and everyone showed a marked improvement over the 2 days.

Although there were some inconveniences in the provision of meals over the weekend, the participants were well-fed. For tea breaks, I bought doughnuts for all. On the first day, we had lunch at Secret Recipe situated at the basement of Menara TM. On the second day, I ordered pizza. It was hard work but well worth it.

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Tea break Lunch

The programme ended with evaluations and certificate presentation.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
26 & 27 November 2012
@ Jaya33 Convention Centre, PJ

To close our 4-year run of this programme, I decided to have a change of training venue just to get a fresh breath of air. So I chose the Jaya33 Convention Centre which was very near our usual training location (Crystal Crown Hotel).

Registration was a bit hard to come by probably due to the course being held on weekdays and towards the end of the year. However, I worked extra hard to get the numbers. Eventually, we still had a full class of 10 participants.

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New training room - cosy and spacious at the same time!

The training proceeded as usual with each module being covered and the participants undergoing many rounds of presentation and individual coaching. The modules included overcoming nervousness, body language, vocal variety, speech organization and correct pronunciation. I had a few errands to run outside and did not catch much of the action. But I could see that everyone was eager to learn and improve. And they did improve a lot over the 2 days.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
5 participants were registered under their respective companies, the other 5 were "private" participants

Since we could not sign up for catering due to the small number, we decided to provide breakfast and lunch instead of lunch and teabreaks. On both days, the participants had a hearty and healthy breakfast at Coffee Bean and an enjoyable lunch at Georgetown White Coffee. Both were within the Jaya33 complex. In short, Jaya33 was a reasonable alternative and we would consider having more trainings there.

Here are some photos of the trainer:

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer Azmi Shahrin got better in his job over the years
- training and keeping participants happy

The programme ended on time and on a positive note.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
22 & 23 September 2012
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

This was the penultimate session before closing a 4-year run of this programme. As I hoped for, the registration process was not too difficult. 11 people registered. From experience I knew that 1 or 2 would not be able to make it to the class, hence I allowed up to 11 people to register. And true enough, only 9 turned up on the first day and 8 on the second day. So we ended up with quite an optimal number of students for effective coaching. As planned, we went back to Crystal Crown Hotel after conducting the training elsewhere in July.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
A very familiar room by now - Utara 3 in Crystal Crown

There was not much difference between this round and the few earlier ones. The trainer took the participants through the standard modules on overcoming nervousness, body language, vocal variety and speech organization. Of course, the participants had many rounds of practice while being coached by the trainer.

One of the things I liked about this training (this round and all the past rounds) was the trainer's willingness to take seriously and answer questions from the floor. Though this took up additional time but it made the participants happy.

On the first day, I was not around most of the time as I had another meeting to attend and a few urgent things to do. I didn't see much of the action. When I arrived on the morning of the second day, I was relieved when one of the participants said he was very satisfied with the programme so far. Not that I was surprised but it's nice to be reassured anyway. And judging from their performance that morning, I could see that they had improved a lot since the beginning of the first day (based on the little that I saw).

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 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
All of them passed :)

The class ended a bit late on the second day but everyone went home satisfied.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
28 & 29 July 2012
@ Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre, Bangsar

Ever since 2009, we've been giving out "special offers" during Ramadan to Muslim participants. We did it again this year and the response was encouraging. In fact, I had to give away 6 instead of the originally planned 5 seats at the special price which constituted a 60% discount. Anyhow, response from the normal price segment was not far behind with 5 participants registering. As only half of the participants would be having their meals, we had to change to venue to the newly opened Telekom Malaysia Convention Centre which was located strategically next to the famous Menara Telekom in Bangsar.

On the first day, however, only 9 participants could make it.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Training room on Level 3 of TM Convention Centre

The training started off well. The trainer Azmi Shahrin asked each participant what was his or her greatest problem in public speaking and then gave a short encouraging response to each of them. Everyone was looking forward to overcoming their fears and worries. Participants were also asked to complete a simple self-assessment form which was found in the workbook.

The core training was divided into 2 main segments of dynamic delivery skills and critical content, while dynamic delivery was divided into body language and vocal variety. Body language was further divided into 4 elements. The trainer gave a simple yet concise explanation for each skill that the participants were supposed to learn. The participants got 3 rounds of practice on the first day.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer said: "When you're in training, you have to exaggerate your gestures so that when you return to normal life, you'd retain some of them"

On the first day, we (those who're not fasting) had lunch at Secret Recipe on Level LG of Menara TM. It was a cosy gathering too. (On the second day, I had to take away food from Kenny Rogers as per requested by one of the participants as Secret Recipe was closed.)

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Order your own food at Secret Recipe, it's all covered :)

On the second day, unfortunately one participant dropped out. The remaining participants had another 3 rounds of practice. The training ended with a module on correct English pronunciation before the usual certificate presentation and closing speeches.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme 8 participants finally graduated! Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

All in all, it was a successful programme. However, we'll revert to Crystal Crown Hotel for the next round for more comfort and convenience!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
12 & 13 May 2012
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Basic stuff, but it takes a trainer to make you do it

Although this training programme had been running for quite some time, I tried not to take for granted that I could easily recruit participants. Therefore I was thankful to receive as many as 11 registrations for this round. The participants found us or came to us through different channels but as always, they were keen to learn.

The following were our 11 amazing participants:

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Aliff - sent by his dad Azzrul - sent by his company
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Carol - registered herself Eunice - also registered herself
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Lisa - first person to register Fami - registered last minute
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Rahman - been waiting for a long time to attend Masrizal - took advantage of the special discount
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Maria - registered on colleague's recommendation Hafiez - registered by his wife Zaliza
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Zaliza - registered herself and husband

The programme went ahead smoothly with an introduction to public speaking followed by the usual modules. Due to having a full class, the practice sessions were a bit lengthy. Perhaps the next time we should limit participation strictly to 10 persons, though it could be a bit "cruel" to turn away the 11th (I always turn away the 12th).

Anyway, the participants managed to learn all the essential elements of public speaking including hand gestures, stance, eye contact, facial expression, vocal variety, speech organization, etc. Along the way, the participants presented on various interesting topics, simple or profound. During one of the practice sessions, they were asked to speak as their company's representative, which everyone found very useful.

The class ended a bit late on the second day with a quick certificate presentation ceremony. I didn't even have time to give a full closing speech as everyone wanted to rush home and the trainer also had to head up to Genting for another training on the next day!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
26 & 27 March 2012
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

As this programme was to be held on weekdays, we expected some difficulty in obtaining participants. However, thanks to Axis Anugerah Sdn. Bhd. which registered 3 participants, we had a good start in terms of registration. In the course of time, 6 more participants registered. The venue was again Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The trainer Azmi Shahrin and 9 participants

After a short introduction on the importance of public speaking, the trainer went into the individual modules including speech organization, body language, vocal variety and correct English pronunciation. As usual, the module on body language took the longest to cover as it consisted of 4 separate parts. And this time, in response to the participants' request, an extra emphasis was placed on speech organization. There was hands-on practice after each module or section.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Enumerating your points will help yourself
and your listeners to remember them
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

In total, each participant had 6 rounds of individual practice and of being coached personally. Besides the standard stuff, the trainer also helped participants overcome individual "unique" weaknesses such as unnatural intonation and others.

Outside of class time, the participants also had to opportunity to mingle and network during tea breaks and lunch.

It was good that we had no "dropouts" for this round. All 9 participants managed to stay till the end as no work or other emergency arose. The class ended with certification presentation and evaluations.

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 From top, left to right:
Amalina, Iqra, Shaufi, Deva Sundari, Raja Mardiana, Nizamuddin, Julie and Kamil

In my closing speech, I encouraged the participants to continue speaking.

Sandy Tan - Managing Partner of ProSkills Trainers Determination is the key to success

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
14 & 15 January 2012
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

We started off the year very well with the best ever programme so far, in terms of getting enough participants. 11 participants registered for the course. We're still loyal to Crystal Crown after having used their facilities for 3 years (since January 2009). Same course, same trainer, same venue... but with a fresh batch of participants!

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
A cheerful trainer with 11 attentive participants

After the opening session, we sailed full steam into unchartered waters (for the participants only, of course). The trainer Azmi Shahrin, always flexible with the flow of his delivery of the course contents, had chosen this time to talk about the 4 elements of body language and vocal variety under the heading of "dynamic delivery", before touching on speech organization under the heading of "critical content". As usual, after each round of short exposition, there would be a practice session where each and every participant had to go forward to speak.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Mr. Kennedy, our first Mat Salleh student...

With each round of practice, the participants' delivery improved noticeably. This went on for 2 days, so in the end they were all pretty good at it.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Lunch time: Sitting in 2 rows, facing each other

On the second day, we were left with 10 participants. The following photos were taken 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
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Each with his own style but aligned with the
standard techniques taught in this course!

Before the course ended, there was just enough time to cover the module on correct English pronunciation. Those who wanted to delve deeper into this subject were encouraged to attend our full 2-day course on this subject. We ended with a quick certificate presentation ceremony and everyone had to "rush" home because we were 1 hour late in finishing!

In short, this training programme had allowed the participants to catch a glimpse of and taste what it was like to speak confidently and interestingly before an audience. We very much hope that they would continue to practise and apply their new skills and achieve success. :)

~ 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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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.

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

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

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

2nd row:
Juanna, Norazeha

3rd row:
Elenkovan, Nadiatul

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

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 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.

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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.

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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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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!

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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 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.

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

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

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 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.

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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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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:

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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™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
14 & 15 November 2009
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer and 9 participants

This was one of the easiest programmes for me as the organizer due to the good response. Besides private individuals, several companies also sent their staff (1 or 2 staff per company) to attend the training. So it was "full house" with 10 participants and for the first time we had to turn down a few who came later. However, only 9 persons made it eventually as one was unwell on the first day of the programme.

The most important skill that the participants learned on the first day, as is normally the case, was the use of hand gestures. Participants were taught to hold out their hands when speaking and to let the hands move naturally according to the rhythms of their speech. This made a big difference as the speakers now looked more confident, eager and sincere. They also said they felt more free to express themselves when holding out their hands. One participant commented that he had managed to "solve" his long-standing problem with the use of hands!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Great hand gestures!

The other very obvious improvement was standing still while speaking. In the beginning, many of the participants moved around too much - some shifted their feet, some swayed left and right and so on. But eventually they stopped doing that. Then came the fine tunings in terms of eye contact, vocal variety, correct pronunciation, etc. For group activity, we had a debate with the usual "shouting" and noise making. This was to force particiapants to speak in a loud and clear voice and with emotion.

For me personally, I enjoyed a "new" video shown by the trainer. It was a video of our current PM Najib giving a speech. He had great vocal variety and hand gestures! All these videos inspired us to become better speakers ourselves.

Perhaps more interesting for the participants were the videos of their "before" and "after". It was encouraging for them to compare (at the end of the programme) how they were at the beginning and at the end of the 2 days of training. Everyone agreed that they looked much better now. Congratulations to all who attended and to the trainer Azmi Shahrin!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
12 & 13 September 2009
@ Shah's Village Hotel, PJ

We expected this to be our worst-attended programme but it turned out to be te best-attended. We had 12 participants in this session, which was the maximum allowed. This could be due to the huge discounts given to Muslim participants during this fasting month. The other reason was that we had 4 participants from Public Mutual.

I got a scare on Day 1 when I arrived because the hotel forgot to set up our room! Luckily, they managed to set it up (though not perfectly) in 15 minutes.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
12 participants on Day 1

On Day 2, I arrived earlier to check but the room was nicely set up already. However, one particpant fell sick and couldn't attend, so were were left with 11.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
11 participants on Day 2

My feeling is that the class was a bit too big and we were always running out of time. Next time, I will insist on 10 participants only, though the published maximum is 12. (Initially I insisted on 10, but the last 2 were very keen to attend and were very disappointed when I said "no", so I let them in.) Anyhow, I was pleased with the progress made by each of the participants as I could see their obvious progress and they were happy about it too. Major improvements were made in the area of reducing verbal crutches, speaking louder, hand gestures and stance.

The weather was good and I took a walk about the hotel. Hmm... wish I could be lying on the hammock instead of sitting in class!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Poolside scenes, Sandy on the right

The hotel also compensated our "uneaten meals" (due to fasting) with buka puasa vouchers. On Sunday, Azmi and I had dinner there. Unfortunately, he rammed into someone's car on the way home and the car was badly damaged! Aaarrgh! Thank God he was unhurt.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Azmi's car after the accident

In conclusion, I am happy with the programme but sad about the accident which was partly "caused" by it. :(

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
11 & 12 July 2009
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer and 8 participants

So finally, after a space of nearly 4 months, we have moved the programme back to Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ.

It was a lively session with 8 participants from different backgrounds united by the desire to empower their lives through public speaking skills. Two came from outstation - Penang and Kuantan, respectively. One participant was sent by his company to attend the course to prepare for an upcoming major presentation. Another participant was invited to attend to preview the course fo her company.

As usual, the participants learned a lot and were transformed by the trainer's magical touch as they went through rounds of practice. For me personally (who had sat through the programme many times), the most exciting part was when the trainer showed some new videos of our local politicians speaking. Yes, Azmi is always full of surprises and new tricks!

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Some of the participants presenting

At the end of the programme, some of the participants expressed regret at not having attended the programme earlier. However, they were comforted when told that we had started to actively conduct public programmes only in early 2009. So they did not miss very much!

As the saying goes, all's well that ends well. I guess it's true for this programme. We are just so glad to have met and impacted the lives of 8 precious fellow human beings.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
16 & 17 May 2009
@ 11C, Jalan SS 21/60, Damansara Utama

One of the most challenging programmes ever! It was initially called off due to the lack of participants but eventually we decided to go ahead anyway. We worked very hard to bring in more participants but most people couldn't make it on those dates. With one week to go, we had only 5 persons registered. That was when we decided to move to a less costly venue. In the end we had 7 participants.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
The Magnificent Seven & the trainer

It was a blessing in disguise as we found this very interesting training facility in Damansara Utama. It was just above OldTown White Coffee where we had our meals on both days. No need to worry about food. Free parking on weekends. Moreover, we had the entire place to ourselves. We certainly intend to use that venue again for some of our future programmes!

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
What's for lunch?

We had a great time as usual. We were glad we went ahead with the programme.Otherwise we would have missed the wonderful time and the wonderful people.

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Some participants presenting...

I think this programme underlined our commitment to our participants to go ahead with the scheduled programme rather than to cancel. This commitment will continue...

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
28 & 29 March 2009
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
Azmi Shahrin The participants and I

If I could sum up this programme in a few words, I would say it was simply amazing!

It didn't begin so well, though. Five days to the event, I had only 4 participants. After working super hard, we managed to round up another 3. We also got 2 bonus (unexpected) participants out of the blue who just called to sign up. So we had 9 in the end.

This time the results were even more amazing. "Soft-spoken" participants with numerous bad habits (when speaking) were transformed into brave souls who could speak their minds with competence and style.

The highlight of the programme was the final session where participants were given a selection of topics to deliver a speech on. They could choose to be the leader of a political party, the CEO of a company, a headmaster/mistress, George W. Bush on the eve of the Iraqi invasion or Saddam Hussein on the eve of the same. Well, no one selected the last 2 topics and the trainer had to assign the topics to some participants. We had a good laugh.

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"George W. Bush" "Saddam Hussein"

The trainer Azmi Shahrin also received "unexpected" praise from one of the participants who had attended many training programmes in the past. He said that Azmi was able to infuse positive energy into the participants by gently coaching them compared to many trainers who made the participants feel disheartened by showing off what they knew. He summed this up with an interesting phrase: "I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care." He also commented that the programme was very effective as participants had a lot of real practice time and the trainer was able to tell them authoritatively step by step what to do. Ok, I better not go on and on or else Azmi's head will grow too big...

All in all, like I said earlier, it was simply amazing!!

Bonus photos:

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Azmi's "favourite" participant Khairul

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Executives & Professionals
10 & 11 January 2009
@ Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ

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

The past few months had been a roller-coaster ride for me. In organizing this programme, getting in the participants was the most difficult part. Out of the many who were interested, (only) 9 eventually made it there.

However, the positive outcome made the "hardship" worth it. The participants showed dramatic improvement. Initially, they spoke with many speech crutches ("ah", "um") and nearly no hand gestures. At the end of the programme, their speeches were smooth and stylish too! It was almost life-changing and made me feel like I had done something important! One participant told me, "This is what I expected, what I was looking for." I also overheard him tell another participant, "This is better than a motivational course where you get motivated only for awhile. Here you actually learn something."

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Don't clasp... open your hands!

This programme was also a milestone for the trainer Azmi Shahrin. While he had trained for numerous clients at various venues, this was the first time he had his own programme in a real hotel. Crystal Crown was comfortable and the food was good (only too much food). Yes, we will continue to use that place until we are ready to upgrade again!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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