On Saturday November 6th, MEPI-TL students attended an interactive workshop on communication in the Selina Korban Theater at LAU Byblos. It was facilitated by Adoni Maalouf, a specialist in Speech and Drama with a Masters Degree in Advanced Theater Practice0. As we are aiming to be leaders in the future, we must have influential and captivating skills in public speaking. Thus the main purpose of the workshop was to highlight public speaking techniques, such as process of walking, way of talking, and projecting the voice, to successfully reach an audience and appear confident while speaking.
The first exercise involved us walking on the stage and exploring different forms of walking (on toes, back of toes, eyes closed) to locate the position of our center of gravity, allowing us to understand the importance of body structures and parts that work as a complete unit. As our biggest worry is the audience, the second exercise involved looking into eyes of every single person to acknowledge and reach him or her, which is a crucial point to sensitize our audience and know them without losing their attention. The third exercise was the most beneficial, as it entailed students going up stage and presenting themselves while the audience observed and analyzed everything. Students started performing the exercise and with every mistake Adoni gave the proper advice for improving our performance. We can summarize the recommendations in the following points:
Its important to find about the approximate number of audience, light in theater, colors, etc.. in order to merge my appearance with the surrounding because audience are highly attracted by the visual appearance of the speaker
We have to plan a strategy for going up to theater, way of presenting our speech, and finally leaving the stage
We should do breath exercises, voice exercises and be careful in our pronunciation of words
We should rehearse our speech a couple of times
We have to narrow ourselves to the level of shutting off everything around us and concentrating on our audience
We have to be very precise and specific in our speech
It’s essential to believe in what we are saying
With all these essential recommendations for a perfect appearance on stage and maximum interaction with the audience our session ended and almost everyone was pleased with the results. For instance, Jad, a TL student, thought that the workshop was beneficial, and Sally saw it as very interactive and a precious chance to learn how to observe, walk, stand, and speak better. Ali, “liked the Dude” and believed that the session was participatory and interactive. As for Adoni, he was pleased with the response and participation of students and wished he had more time to explore more cases and exercises.