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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Students (reports)


View reports of ALL programmes

Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
22 & 23 November 2014
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

Last year, we conducted this programme twice in December 2014 during the school holidays. This year, however, we had 1 session only with 10 participants.

As per our modus operandi, the participants were given a little theory and a lot of hands-on practice.

Here are the 10 participants delivering their speeches:

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Siblings
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Another pair of siblings
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On the afternoon of the second day, we had the graduation ceremony. Many parents and family members attended to show their support. The participants delivered their respective final speeches which they had been practising all day.

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

Top left: The trainer welcoming the guests
Top right: Participants on the front row
Bottom left: Parents and family members waiting in great anticipation

I was appointed as the Judge. All the speakers did well but in the end I selected the following winners:

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Hui Ann - 3rd prize Amelia - 2nd prize Ye-fay - 1st prize

The first prize winner Kung Ye-fay was stunned. When asked to deliver his "acceptance speech", he said that "his body could not take it".

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1st prize winner could not stand it

The ceremony ended with certificate presentation and other pleasantries.

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A parent providing feedback on th programme Amelia posing with Azmi

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
14 & 15 December 2013
@ ProSkills Trainers' Office, Sunway Mentari, PJ

This was the very first time we conducted this programme (or any programme) at our own "office" which is more like a training centre. After working around the clock to prepare the place, it was finally "ready" for use but not perfect yet.

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Cosy training room which is just right for a small audience
(the curtains were not up yet)

The training went well. Since there were only 9 participants, all of them had the opportunity to speak many times and be coached by the trainer Azmi Shahrin. Before each practical session, of course, brief lectures were delivered to add to the participants' formal understanding.

Here are the pictures of the 9 participants delivering their respective speeches:

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For tea breaks and lunch, there was no need to go out any more. All meals were provided in-house.

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Tea breaks & lunch around large conference table

Once again, on the afternoon of the second day, a graduation ceremony was held and parents (as well as other family members) were invited to attend. The room was packed. Each participant gave their final speech before an admiring crowd.

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Participants on the first row, families members behind

As usual, 3 winners were announced and a prize was also given for the "most improved" participant.

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1st prize 2nd prize
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3rd prize Most improved

All in all, the parents were impressed.

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Parents expressing their thoughts on the programme

Year 2013 would end soon. More programmes have been planned for 2014! Now that we have our own training centre, things will be easier. :)

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
7 & 8 December 2013
@ English Champ, Taman Megah, PJ

This session was postponed from November due to a clash in the trainer's schedule. The response was very good. In the end, we decided to have 2 sessions - this one and one more the following weekend. This would probably be the final time we would conduct the class at English Champ.

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Nostalgia in the making - the familiar classroom at English Champ viewed from 4 angles

The programme started off well and proceeded smoothly. The trainer Azmi Shahrin once again gave his best. As usual, brief lectures alternated with practical sessions. Each module was duly covered including body language, vocal variety, speech organization, etc. The critical element in this entire learning process was the direct and on-the-spot coaching by the trainer who made sure each participant made the necessary progress.

Everyone was serious about learning:

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Lunch was a OldTown White Coffee on both days.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Participants making their selections

On the afternoon of the second day, a graduation ceremony was held and parents (as well as other family members) were invited to attend. Each participant gave their final speech to the applause of all present.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
The trainer was excited! Parents & family members in the crowd

Finally, 3 winners were announced and a prize was also given for the "most improved" participant.

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1st prize 2nd prize
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3rd prize Most improved

Since we had not had any programmes for students so far in 2013, I was relieved to have put on at least one programme. But there would be no rest for me yet. One more programme on the following weekend!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Primary School Children
1 & 2 December 2012
@ English Champ, Taman Megah, PJ

We had a small group for this session with 8 participants. In fact, only 7 registered through the normal channel and I had to ask a friend to send his child to raise the total to 8. We decided to go ahead with the programme in order not to disappoint parents who had registered their children.

The programme started with the trainer asking the participants whether they chose to be there or were forced by their parents to attend the class. Half of them answered one way and half the other way. They were all asked to enjoy the 2 days irrespective of their answers.

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The participants choose their respective "characters" for the 2 days

The actual training proceeded in the usual way, of course, at a level suitable for the young children. Due to the small number, each of them had many opportunities to speak.

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During the first round, participants were allowed
to refer to notes

Over the 2 days, the children made friends and began to enjoy the programme more and more.

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Boys and girls formed their own cliques

During the second afternoon, we had the graduation ceremony at 3 p. m. More than half the parents attended.

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Scenes during the graduation ceremony

The 8 participants did their best for their parents and peers.

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Participants presenting their graduation speeches

Prizes were given to the 3 best speakers. The "judge" was myself.

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Sandy Tan presenting prizes to the 3 winners. From left: Tharishini (1st prize), Magnus Lim (2nd prize) & Nur Atuqah (3rd prize)

In closing, 2 parents shared their thoughts on the programme.

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En. Zulkifli (left) & Hj. Mutti (right)

All in all, everyone went home happy.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
24 & 25 November 2012
@ English Champ, Taman Megah, PJ

The response was exceptionally good for this session. As a result, we had to make arrangements to take up 2 rooms at the training centre and engage an assistant trainer. In the end, a total of 21 participants registered.

The programme commenced and proceeded as usual. The main trainer Azmi Shahrin conducted all the main lectures. During the practical sessions, we split the participants into 2 groups. Azmi and the assistant trainer took charge of one group each (alternately). This enabled each participant to speak and be coached individually and the programme to (still) progress at the intended speed.

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The trainer Azmi had to entertain a huge class
during the combined sessions

The assistant trainer Norhafis Nordin (nicknamed "Bobo") was assisted by myself in the smaller classroom. Interestingly, on the second morning, Azmi sent to us a few participants whom he found hard to motivate (spoke very little). We were asked to pay special attention to them. We used various means to get them to speak, with some success.

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Bobo (in white shirt) and some of the participants
in the break-out room

One of the programme highlights was the debate held during the first afternoon. The participants let go of their inhibitions and spoke their minds freely.

Here are a few scenes from the debate:

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For lunch on both days, we enjoyed food and fellowship at the nearby OldTown White Coffee:

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Due to the large number, we did not have the opportunity to conduct the usual graduation ceremony where the participants would present their final speeches before the parents. However, we still had a grand finale round of speeches where each participant gave his or her best performance.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for College & University Students
1 & 2 September 2012
@ JCI PJ, Sunway Mas Commercial Centre, PJ

This was a great programme because, to begin with, we had full registration of 10 participants. Starting from 3 very keen students, I worked hard until we hit the minimum of 7 participants. I was determined to make this training session for college and university students a reality as we had not had it for more than a year. 3 days before the event, another 3 students signed up. One person did not turn up but we still had with 9 participants in the class.

The training was held at JCI PJ, which was a bit out of the way but once you got into the training room, you'd find it very comfortable. The seating arrangement was U-shape.

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A U-shape arrangement suited the room better

After a brief opening which touched on ways to overcome nervousness, among other things, the participants were asked to start speaking. The trainer Azmi Shahrin did his usual thing by helping them correct their most obvious weaknesses right at the beginning, whether it was shifting feet, stiff hands, speech crutches, soft voice, etc. However, before each subsequent round of speeches, he also gave a formal explanation of 1 or 2 new skills to be learned. Thus he covered the 4 elements of hand gestures, vocal variety and other skills over the 2-day period.

Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer Azmi Shahrin - Public Speaking Coach & Trainer
Use your hands to show "big" and "small"

I beleive that in this programme, the participants got to speak more times than was usually the case. On the first day, they spoke 4 times including taking part in a debate. On the second day, they spoke 3 times as the speeches become longer. Everyone showed remarkable improvement. The class ended with a session on correct English pronunciation.

These are some pictures taken during the debate:

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What about food? On the first day, we had lunch at Murni Restaurant which was just opposite the block where we had the training. On the second day, one group went with Azmi to a mamak restaurant while the rest of us patronized a Chinese kopitiam.

I'm personally very thankful that the programme turned out so well. I faced several challenges along the way among which was one parent refused to deposit the registration fee into our account before the training day because we didn't our own centre which she wanted to see first. Despite explaining to her that most of our trainings were conducted at the premises of companies, she still pulled out her daughter. But thank God, others were more reasonable and didn't find this a problem.

I'm also glad that no participant dropped out on the second day despite the "commando-style" training method used by the trainer who drilled each person repeatedly until he or she managed to "get it". But they improved, and that's the whole point of this training.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
10 & 11 March 2012
@ English Champ, Bandar Utama, PJ

It's been more than a year since we last conducted this programme. In 2011, we did not manage to enlist a sufficient number of participants to have the class. This time round, 9 participants registered after I worked extra hard to promote the course and follow up on enquiries. However, only 8 of them eventually made it.

As for the venue, we used English Champ's newly open centre at Dataran Pelangi Utama, Bandar Utama. In fact, we were the first people who used the centre even before their normal classes had started. The centre had a little platform/stage which was very suitable for public speaking training!

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Cosy and comfortable place

As usual, most of the participants were sent by their parents. Some were not very happy to be woken up early in the morning on a weekend during school holidays. But they warmed up pretty fast especially after making friends with one another and having the first round of practice.

On the first day itself, the participants had 4 rounds of practice (each person spoke 4 times). We focused on speaking without notes, body language and speech organization. On the second day, the participants had another 4 rounds of speeches while adding vocal variety and correct pronunciation to the skills learned on the first day. Needless to say, their progress was only natural with so many rounds of drilling.

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The trainer coached the participants tirelessly, to the extent of giving "private" one-to-one coaching where necessary!

The participants in action:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme From top, left to right:
Darshan, Nurin, Imran, Ilham, John, Kabrinz, Abishekh, Jeeva

During the "graduation ceremony", some parents came to witness their children presenting their grand finale speech. This round was also a mini contest.

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Everyone did well but officially the winners were Darshan Abraham (first prize with speech title "Problems with Teens"), Ilham Nurhakim (second prize with speech title "Appreciation") and John Ong (third prize with speech title "What I learned in this programme"). Another speech which I liked very much was "How to handle a hyperactive child" by Jeeva Murugan who was himself a hyperactive child.

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1st prize 2nd prize 3rd prize

Certificates of completion were presented to all the participants. The programme concluded with 2 parents sharing their thoughts and one participant giving his feedback on behalf of the other participants. He said he wasn't happy to attend on the first morning but was eager to arrive on the second morning.

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Mother of Abishekh and Jeeva Father of John Ong

So the programme ended and everyone went home happy.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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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.

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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").

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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 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...

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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 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".

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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!

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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 Secondary School Students
25 & 26 November 2009
@ Pusat Tuisyen Kurnia, Aman Suria, PJ

It would be an understatement to say this was a difficult programme to organize! Despite the large number of enquiries, the actual registration was low for a variety of reasons. In fact, there was supposed to be another session for primary school children on 23 & 24 Nov, but due to low numbers I had to combine the 2 sessions for ages 11-16.

Anyway, we decided to focus our positive energies on those who actually registered and not on those who didn't. Eventually, we had a good programme and a great time.

Here are the 10 cute participants:

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Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Top row: Sisters Diyana, Nafeesah & Nabilah
2nd row: Brothers Suresh & Sushen
3rd row: Darren from Penang & Punitha from Cameron
4th row: Adibah, Afiq & Bryan
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As usual, since we had only 2 days to "work on" the participants, some manhandling techniques were necessary:

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Don't shift your legs!!!

Other highlights included the debate session and the "graduation ceremony" which was attended by many parents and family members. Each participant gave a speech, after that, certificates and prizes were given away.

I was exhausted but felt appreciated when one of the parents openly thanked me (in her speech) for fetching her 3 daughters on both mornings from KL Sentral (their took the train from Putrajaya). It was good to know that my efforts were not wasted.

We hope that the response will be better in times to come.

Bonus photo:

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The emcee couple during the graduation ceremony!!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for College & University Students
18 & 19 July 2009
@ 11C, Jalan SS 21/60, Damansara Utama

Wow! I say "Wow" for 2 reasons. Firstly, despite the herculean effort we put into setting this programme (including distributing flyers), we managed to recruit only 3 college/university students. Secondly, I miraculously managed to convince 4 more persons to join the class at short notice, so we didn't cancel and it turned out to be one of the best sessions we ever had!

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The show went on despite low numbers

It also turned out that the 3 students were soccer fans supporting 3 different clubs. This matter became the subject of some speeches (and counter speeches) which made it all the more fun!

Oh yes, we had our first foreign participant. Noel Kituto from Kenya had been wanting to attend our class since March but was unable to due to outstation work assignments. I contacted her and she was very willing to join the students' group. Two other participants were returning graduates who wanted a refresher.

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Manchester United AC Milan Liverpool

At the end of the programme, Noel commented that the trainer Azmi Shahrin was like a "healer". Throughout the programme, he had gently coached each participant, brought out the best in them, and not let anyone give up. I am sure the rest of the participants felt the same way.

In short, I am glad we went ahead with the programme. However, we have to think of more effective means to recruit more participants in this category for future sessions. College and university students are at the threshold of a new chapter in life where they will need public speaking skills like never before! We must reach out to help them!

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Primary School Children
1 & 2 June 2009
@ Pusat Tuisyen Kurnia, Aman Suria, PJ

Last year, when we were drawing up plans for the Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme, we deliberated on whether to have a programme for primary school children. We knew it wouldn't be easy to "handle" these kids.

This was proved true in the just-concluded programme which was attended by 7 girls and 2 boys (why so few boys?). On the first morning, the participants were sullen and unresponsive. Some refused to open their mouth and had to be coaxed to speak more and louder. But after the initial hurdle, we had a great time and everyone performed well.

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"This is how you do it..."

There was more trouble on the second morning when one of the girls cried and one boy got angry and kicked the trainer 3 times and spilled Milo on his (the trainer's) pants! I had to bring the boy to a separate room and use all my psychological powers (i.e. counselling skills) to get him back on track. Thank God that in the end we and the participants managed to pull through and presented a good show to the parents during the "graduation ceremony". Many parents attended and it was a great encouragement to us and to the children.

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Graduation ceremony

All in all, do we say it's worth it? I am not so sure... hehe... but at least I am proud that we upgraded the food - first day's lunch at Mama Chops & Papa Grill (Western) and second day's lunch at Rempah Garden (Malay). Bravo for the economy!

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Mama Chops & Papa Grill (left), Rempah Garden (right)

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Secondary School Students
18 & 19 March 2009
@ Pusat Tuisyen Kurnia, Aman Suria, PJ

With each programme concluded, we reach another milestone.

However, I have to say that even programmes with the same "name" can turn out very differently. This is because each group has its unique dynamics. In this latest group, there were a new noisy and boisterous participants and we had to adapt accordingly. For group activity, we had a debate on the topic "Women are better leaders than men". The guys were made to propose (support) while the gals had to oppose. What's more, listeners were allowed to cheer or jeer the speaker and throw paper balls at them. In the midst of the excitement, even the quiet ones raised their voices above the noise and braved the paper balls to present their views.

Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme
"Women are better leaders" "No, men are better"

Still, the highlight of the programme was the final session where parents were invited to attend and watch their children deliver a final speech. Some participants spoke about their parents' love and sacrifice for them, and told their parents how much they loved them. It was a touching moment for all.

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

We were glad that everyone was happy in the end, including the several participants who were not happy at first, being forced by their parents to attend. Eventually, everyone felt it was worthwhile.

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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Dare To Speak™ Public Speaking Programme for Students (ages 15-20)
9 & 10 December 2008
@ Pusat Tuisyen Kurnia, Aman Suria, PJ

This was ProSkills Trainers' very own first programme which was open to the public.

The programme almost didn't happen as we did not plan for it earlier. We only decided to have it after we received several "enquiries" about such a programme for students. After fixing the dates and making the announcement, unfortunately, several prospective participants could not make it. It also took awhile for the other prospective participants (rather, their parents) to confirm. The most common concern had to do with the composition of participants. "Would my son/daughter fit in and benefit from the programme?" I assured them that each participant would be given personal attention and make progress individually, so there's no need to worry too much what the other participants are like. It took some persuasion and in the end we managed to "round up" 9 participants. An ok number. :)

The programme went smoothly. I was personally amazed at the progress made by the participants within such a short time. I shall let the pictures speak for themselves.

Before After
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
Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme Dare To Speak Public Speaking Programme

~ Reported by Sandy Tan

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