Standing tall and Delivering a Message
When you’re standing up in front of a crowd, the number of people in front of you – be it 5 or 5,000 – doesn’t seem to matter. The feeling of sweaty palms, wobbly knees, and the possibility of forgetting everything you know does.
Imagine getting up to speak on a topic you’ve been researching all semester and boom; the professor hits you with a random question in a hostile tone and straight face. How do you answer it? Or better yet, how do you proceed to get your key messages across to your audience? As a spokesperson, you are not paid to answer the questions, but deliver messages. Ensuring that happens is another story – and that’s the challenge we face. But as luck would have it, it’s one which we are well equipped to overcome.
I, myself had a disadvantage. A few weeks after the semester started, I had my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) reconstructed. At this point my main concern about standing up in front of my audience was just that: standing up. I wobbled on and off camera, all the while focusing on maintaining a professional posture. Let’s not forget the thigh to ankle brace I was wearing. It has been over 6 weeks and my limp is to a minimum, but the show must go on.
In PR332, we all struggle to become better spokespersons. Bad habits are hard to break. Fiddling your thumbs, a serious face, lack of emotion, unclear roundabout answers, and blurry messaging -- there is something that each and every one of us has done at one point or another throughout the semester. At Golden Gate University, we also have several international students who don’t speak English as their primary language. I could only imagine going through training while focusing on an unfamiliar language. However, thanks to our training, we have become each others’ support system – each of us giving tips, guidance, and positive feedback to one another. Slowly but surely, we are collectively learning.
The path to becoming a better spokesperson starts by training yourself to speak. And thanks to the structure at Golden Gate University classes, we are being trained so intensively that when the time comes, we can all do what GGU students do best: Shine!
The PR world is a world of its own. Each of us must first understand that world before we can attempt to conquer it. Until then, it’s “spokesperson boot camp” every Wednesday evening at Golden Gate University. The funny thing is, none of us would trade this experience for anything.