of public speaking and other things  

Posted by Hyllma

anyone who said teachers have no problems speaking in public certainly didn't look hard enough (or far enough, for that matter!)

i had the privilege of attending a public speaking programme held recently in my school, and, i must say, it was darn good! not because it was organised by one of my friends, but simply because it was good. period. end of sentence. and it was testament to my belief that one does not necessarily have to speak using american/australian/scottish/british/nz accent to sound credible, to be believable, or to sound just plain impressive. cos, at the end of the day, what matters is that we're able to get our message across.

even though it wasn't my first time emceeing in school (regardless of whether in english or bm), my stomach was in knots after knowing that the speaker concerned was about to reach our school. it wasn't the thought of speaking in front of my fellow colleagues that scared the living daylights out of me, but it was the thought of having an outsider, a person who's very good at public speaking (not just in Malaysia,but also internationally!) listen to every single word that i say was just, simply put, nerve wrecking.

but,at the end of the day, it was all good. it was good to have someone point out our flaws and, more importantly, how to correct them and make sure that we don't repeat the same mistakes while speaking in public. it's easy speaking to your students in class as they don't pose any threats to you, and neither are they intimidating.but try speaking to the whole school and having almost 500 pairs of eyes trained on you and just listening to the 'pearls of wisdom' coming out from your mouth...the point is, it's not easy. regardless of whether you teach english, maths, biology, civics, or even physical education. nothing quite shocks the system as having someone force you to speak in public. some of the most macho,adventurous,and daring people i know turn the exact opposite the moment they're asked to speak in public.

the point is, as hard as it is, and as life threatening as it may seem, the ability to speak in public should be one of the skills one should acquire. not because it might make you popular (although it might be true in most instances), but simply because it makes you more outstanding (not instanding, as azmi put it!) companies and recruiters look forward to hiring people/graduates/individuals with good communicative skills.

contrary to popular belief (of some really narrow minded people,anyhow), speaking (good) English / being more comfortable speaking in English does not make me any less Malaysian, or any less Malay, for that matter. i love my country just as much as any Ali, Abu, Maniam, or Ah Chong. If i happen to like speaking in English more than i like speaking in Malay, it's just because i'm more comforitable expressing myself in english. i can get my point across quicker,and, more effectively, cos i don't have to think of the appropriate Malay equivalent. and,yes, i agree that maths and science should continue to be taught in english. not because i teach english, but because english is the language of science and technology. cos at the present moment, we pick up,learn, and acquire technology from other countries..

or perhaps, all school kids in malaysia should now learn japanese and korean? (since they're not english speaking countries, but are technologically advanced anyhow)...

perhaps someone should think about that,then...