Last week, the Monaco Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCEM) hosted its first English-speaking training as part of its Leadership and Management training program. It was a huge success.
Almost twenty people attended to hear trainer Alicia Sedgwick, who teaches Public Speaking to Undergraduates, and Communication in Business at the International University of Monaco. Ms Sedwick, one third of the local singing trio Lib Day Darlings, made her entrance to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic, a song that “gives her confidence.”
“We’ve been doing training for about four years now” JCEM member Zorana Ioffrida told Monaco Life, “but it’s the first one in English. Anyone can attend, we just want people to be confident in themselves.”
This is an attitude Alicia Sedgwick followed carefully throughout the training. “Everyone in this room joins team Alicia for life. In this team, you leave all of your fears, your inhibitions and your anxieties outside the door.”
Confidence. One by one participants introduced themselves with a bit of professional background: banking, marketing, cosmetics, shipping, IT … but their common goal? The desire to be a confident public speaker.
“And I have the perfect cure for that,” underlined Ms Sedgwick. “First of all, remind yourself that when you give a presentation, it’s not about you, it’s about the audience. You have to understand them. What does the audience need? Does it want to be informed or convinced?” Reading your audience is key.
“Never lose eye contact. Try to look right, left, up, down to keep everyone involved.”
Little by little, the JCEM trainees gained confidence. Vocal exercises, posture rebalancing… In the 2-hour session, Alicia Sedgwick managed to broach many different subjects to unleash the natural leaders within, with the magic formula of public speaking, the four Ps: PITCH, PACE, PAUSE, POWER.
“Nobody knows what you’re going to say so they don’t know you didn’t say what you wanted to, unless you show them you’re wrong by panicking,” she explained.
We have two ears and two eyes but only one mouth “so we’re meant to observe”, she insisted. It’s perfectly normal to be uncomfortable at first, but you dare to overcome your fears while the audience doesn’t. Be proud.”
The next JCEM training will be in September as part of the Enterprise Creation cycle. “We’ll learn how to create a business in Monaco, with all the specific laws. And, most important, we’ll share our stories,” Ms Ioffrida said.
Training is open to members and non-members. For more, see their website.