Speak Up!

When I was younger, I participated in one of many local 4H clubs. One of the things that were popular in many 4H clubs was demonstrations. These demonstrations are exactly like they sound; one stands up and demonstrates how to do something. Not only was I shy, but I had no idea how to convey an idea or process to a large group of people (who probably didn’t care that much anyways).

Requirements for this kind of thing would be a well-rehearsed speech, exhibits of the process/project, and a huge piece of poster board as a visual aid. Not only did this help improve my public speaking ability, it also taught me what I can and can’t do while presenting in front of a group of people. I learned most of these skills from my mom, who is a UWSP Alumni that graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Her skills in public speaking have taught me that being confident in what you are saying can make anyone a believer. Even if what you are saying is totally false, the audience doesn’t need to know. You need to believe and be confident in what you are presenting and that alone with get you far.

Now that I am taking a Communications class here at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, I am using the skills that my mom gave me and the experience I have gained from 4H to try to expand my knowledge on public speaking. My best advice to those who are shy about public speaking or even scared to try it is to speak up! You never know how many people you will be able to touch with your words.

– Maggie Martin

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