One sunny day, Gracia and Will sat together in their classroom. They had finished the Math exam but still had Physics Class after this.
Gracia took out her sandwiches, “Do you want some, Wil?”
Will was stuck in his mobile phone with a flat expression and didn’t engage with Gracia at all. Gracia raised her body a little bit, then sharped her sight to Will’s phone.
“Are you going to have a youth summit next month?” She was surprised.
Will glanced at Gracia, then opened his mouth, “Hmm, actually, I have terrible public speaking, but my brother coerced me to join this summit last night. He said that it’s a very important skill that I need to learn. Moreover, he intimidated me by telling me that he would go to Labuan Bajo and leave me alone if I didn’t join. However, I’ve never experienced something like this before. What should I do?”
His eyes showed how scared he was. Then, Gracia suddenly opened her phone and typed something. Will’s forehead is frowning, but he still waited for Gracia.
“Let’s meet my uncle this afternoon at 3 PM. My uncle is a delegate and he’s willing to help you,” she said.
Will jumped and laughed, “Hahaha, you’re the best, Ci. Thanks for that.”
Will promised Gracia to meet up at 3 PM at the library. Will parked his bicycle, then went up to the 3rd floor, a place where discussions are allowed. Gracia waved her hands when she was seeing Will.
“Stev, here’s my friend Will. Will, here’s my uncle, Steve.”
They greeted each other, then started the discussions.
Steve asked several questions to Will related to the summit. Will told everything that he knew to Steve. Suddenly, a question popped up, but Will couldn’t answer it.
“Do you know who your audience is?” This question made Will clammed up.
“Hey, Will. It’s very crucial information before you execute that summit. Hmm, no, I mean all public speaking. That shows you what style that you will use, what information you want to share, and what feedback that you will get. Let me help you to get to know your audience.” Steve explained.
Then, Steve took out a piece of paper and a pen. He started to explain this matter.
“Listen to me. Public speaking isn’t about how good we are at speaking. When we need to execute public speaking, the audience is our king. We need to make sure that our messages reach the audience as our intention. We need to convince them, but not force or coerce them to do as we say. That’s why it’s important to know who our audiences are.”
Will nodded his head. After that, he said, “I’m going to have a youth summit, so the audience is people who are in the range 15-22 years old. It’s a summit for ASEAN youth. Therefore, I need to speak in English, I mean formal English because it’s a formal situation. However, I need to consider the easy-understood English style due to the diversity of countries. This will make my public speaking easier to understand. Ah! I will present about Indonesia’s cultures there, I think it would be great.”
“You’re an amazing learner, Will! Good job! Hmm, but, I think you miss something. If we want to analyze the audience, we need to analyze the whole thing, not only the demographic, size, or location. Have you ever joined a webinar wherein you are really interested in the topic that will be discussed? Then, have you ever joined a lecture from your teachers on subjects that you don’t like? Compare these two,” Steve elaborated.
“When I was attending the webinar, I was in the spirit even before the event started. Unfortunately, if I need to attend a lecture that I don’t like, I don’t even want to go there. Hahaha… Okay, I got what you mean, Steve. Regarding the summit, I think every youth who will attend the summit has that spirit to discuss together. I can feel the vibrancy right now. Thus, if I had to face the second condition, I would prepare some games to make them focus on me or something that could engage them in listening.”
Steve laughed and was amazed at how great Will is. Suddenly, his phone was ringing, then he said that he needed to leave because it’s an urgent situation. Before he left, he wrote something on the paper and gave it to Will.
Hey, Will. You will be a great public speaker. Try and practice, Will!
Don’t forget to prepare before the summit. Make sure you understand what you are going to deliver. Tell me how you’re feeling after finishing that event later, hahaha…
Note this! Public speaking is a bilateral relationship between you and everyone in your audience. You are their friends, so let them know about you, and let yourself know about your audience. You have to convince them, but not force them. Good luck, bro!
Gracia invited Will to go to the cafeteria near the library due to her hunger. Will agreed, then they walked to the cafeteria. They ordered 2 rice bowls and 2 cups of lemon tea. Will treated this meal to thank Gracia.
“Ohh, Will. I read this when we were at the library. The book describes the first crucial minute in public speaking,“ Gracia said.
“Basically, the first minute is the time when we need to arrest our audience’s attention. We have a lot of choices, not only, hello, good morning, let me introduce myself, etc. There are several public speakers who start their speeches with jokes or magic. Properties can be helpful, too. It depends on the situation. In my personal opinion, the first minute is very important. I have attended a webinar that I don’t really interested in, but the speaker attracted us in the first minute by bringing strange and rare properties. Because of this, I listen to the whole explanation well.”
“I’ll note that, Ci. Thanks for sharing. Wish me luck for the summit!” Will said while eating his food.
Afterward, they continued their conversation and meal. Gracia had to go to school, but Will had to go home. Therefore, they said ‘good-bye’ to each other.