Wednesday Public Speaking Sessions

Starting in November, we have successfully conducted weekly Wednesday Public Speaking sessions. Each meeting consisted of around 2-3 prepared speeches by participants, followed by feedback from their colleagues. Along with planned speeches, there were impromptu discourses, where attendees unleashed their creativity.

The aim of our weekly session was the development of public speaking skills, getting out of our comfort zones, and progressing on a regular basis. Thus, our weekly sessions were a great opportunity to construct a public speaking journey alongside colleagues, while gradually improving our level and toughening challenges.

The sessions were organised and led by Irina Bondarenco (Career Center director), who has extensive experience in public speaking and gladly shared her knowledge with participants. She is a regular Toastmasters Club member and certified trainer. Nevertheless, further sessions were moderated and overseen by attendees in turns, which gave them a sense of responsibility and leadership.

We spoke to participants in order to get an idea of their perspective on the events, and get to know them better. First off, we asked them about their general opinion on this type of initiatives, and unsurprisingly responses were all very positive! Next up, participants told us about their motivations to enroll. Most mentioned the confidence boost and getting out of the comfort zone to improve their skills as the main reason.

Andrian told us: “It really helps me feel more confident when I need to speak in front of people, even unknown people.”

Public Speaking
Our colleague Andrian.

Likewise, participants mentioned social networking and communicating with their colleagues in a different setting. In this way, they could hear each others’ stories and memories, which contributed to bonding. Ion described the sessions by noting that: “Interesting, excitement sessions of social interaction and learning.”

The attendees also told us about the things they’ve learned as a result of participation in the sessions. Interestingly, outcomes were grouped either according to skill improvements or personality development. For instance, Madia told us she learned about: “Stage presence, Conclusion to the speech, Role play, Saying a polite ‘NO’, etc.”

Similarly, Corina described the personal progress she has made during the sessions: “I learned that every person is beautiful through their differences from others, and everybody has a talent at speaking (it’s a natural human occurrence), even if they didn’t discover it yet. I also learned that you can master absolutely anything as long as you try and overcome the fear.”

Since our sessions were light-hearted and fun at their core, we asked our colleagues about funny memories or stories from the meetings. Madalina recounted how one of her speeches was dedicated to her friend, which resulted in a great memory: “One of the speeches that I have delivered was dedicated to my best friend’s who’s birthday was that day. It was special and very emotional.”

Our colleagues Madalina and Egor.

There has been a share of funny stories too! EGore told us about a speech he made in front of our CEO Luc, which he thoroughly enjoyed: “My speech regarding the uncontrolled growth in face of Luc. It was gold!”

Lastly, we’ve asked our participants about the things they most liked about the Wednesday Public Speaking sessions. Many colleagues like Valeria recalled the type of activities implemented in the meetings: “The improvisation elements as Table Topics (when we were given to improvise on secretly prepared topics) and Role Playing.”

Moreover, almost all participants have mentioned that the best part of the sessions was the atmosphere, the communication, and the social aspect of the learning. For example, Irina told us she enjoyed: “The atmosphere and spending time with colleagues from different departments.”

The sessions’ organiser Irina.

After reaching a certain number of meetings, our Wednesday Public Speaking sessions are currently on a creative break. We are very happy that we’ve concluded the first series of sessions on such a great, positive note. Certainly, the Wednesday Public Speaking sessions were a valuable and enriching experience for our colleagues, both in a professional and personal context. We invite our employees to take part in our next series of events and keep an eye out for our activities, once the current restrictions are relaxed or lifted. After all, at DevelopmentAid we are all about continuous learning and development together 🙂