It was almost 25 years ago when I responded to a request from a close friend, the late Gerald Green, Toastmasters pioneer and Accredited Speaker (and one of my early mentors in Public Speaking) to help him set up Speech Dynamics, Academy of Public Speaking. Sitting in on his anchor course, Speak Up with Confidence, I began to learn the How, Why, Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking.
Speaking was something I excelled in during my school days. I thank my teachers who saw my potential, who groomed me to win elocution contests in school and at State level. My two- year experience with Gerald reinforced my ability as a speaker and prepared my growth as a corporate trainer.
My second career (having previously served in the Malaysian Army for some 28 years) took root from Speech Dynamics. Through Gerald, I began training for the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) in Leadership, Supervisory, Business Writing and Communication Skills. I was an Associate Trainer with MIM for 10 years.
In early 2005 I was invited by a long-time friend and fellow scuba-diver Kathleen Ong (now Senior Director of Learning at ITD World) to conduct a 10-session course on Speaking and Presentation Skills.
I have never ceased to be grateful as ITD World provided me with tremendous growth opportunities as a local and international corporate trainer. I have been privileged to attend workshops by Mega Gurus like John Maxwell and Jack Canfield, To be a master trainer, to be certified in John Maxwell’s Leadership programmes, to hold a Certified Coaching and Mentoring Professional certification and now train in these disciplines were achievements I never dreamed of.
ITD World helped me find my life purpose – “Touch lives and make a difference” and to achieve a dream, the subject of my next article.
DO DREAMS COME TRUE?
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
Yes, they certainly do and I have to thank the CEO of ITD World, Asia’s top Coach and now ranked World Number Four, Dr Peter Chee for this. During a Role Play in his “Coaching and Mentoring for Break-through Success” Module of the CCMP Course, Dr Peter asked me “Have you had a passion or burning desire to do something but never got down to it”. Without hesitation, I answered “Yes. To write a book”.
By the end of that short role-play, I felt excited, ecstatic and energized about writing a book, but with a certain amount of anxiety as well. Dr Peter, my mentor par excellence, journeyed with me for four mentoring sessions by the end of which, with his assurance of co-authorship, I was more than ready to begin.
Power Speaking, Connecting at Head and Heart Level for Maximum Results was first published in 2014, followed by a second edition in 2017. It was the result of putting our combined experience of almost fifty years as corporate trainers supplemented by research from among the best authorities on the subject. Our motivation was to bring to readers the best so that they could be the best! The book is available at Amazon.com in both printed and Kindle form. Copies may also be obtained from ITD World.
We developed a course “Power Speaking and Presentation Skills” based on this book. It is now run as both a public and an in-house course, and has also been customized to meet specific client needs.
There is a saying to the effect that if you can speak well, you can influence; when you are able to influence, you can change lives. Many who have been through this course have discovered the way to handling nervousness, to speak with confidence and a sense of purpose. We remind them that becoming articulate speakers and presenters is a process and that the more one practices, the better one becomes. As
Ziglar puts it “It’s all in the glands-the sweat glands.”
The great lesson I have learned in making dreams come true:
DECISION. Decide to commit, get out of the comfort zone, break away from old habits and adopt new ones that will help you reach your Goal.
DEDICATION. Keep the end result foremost in mind. Dedication helps the taking of challenges in one’s stride, to persevere, to pursue, to excel.
DISCIPLINE. Set time frames for each task, stay the course, make adjustments where necessary. Regularly visualize successful completion of the task.
A closing thought:
“If I went back to College again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” – Gerald R. Ford