Tekkru Media Blog

First Nations Youth Perspective

Gathering Our Voices 2009

Speak Up! Workshop

Speak Up!

Speaking to large group of people is one of the most feared activities for adults in today’s society; now imagine how much harder it is for the youth in our communities who voices are often barely heard in the first place? Youth are not always given the chance to share there opinions or thoughts, but this was not the case in the Speak Up workshop at Gathering Our Voices, youth were given the opportunity to share what was on their mind, and learn new skills to help them better articulate themselves when addressing a large group of people. The facilitators Megan Clarkson, Soren Poulsen, and Kerry Chelsea shared there experiences with public speaking, and discussed some of the barriers that come with it, then explored different approaches to help overcome those barriers.

One of the most common barriers that people face when addressing groups is being aware of their own insecurities, many people when speaking will get caught up magnifying the insecurities they have, in their mind they will be thinking things like “how does my hair look?” or “Can they see my good side?” or “Does my voice sound funny?” This will often lead to an elevated level of anxiety well giving your presentation, making it very difficult to get you point across. Another common barrier is to set up expectations for the presentation before it even starts, this leads to built up pressure to meet the expectations the presenter thinks the audience has, often ending up with scattered thoughts because of the fear of not meeting these expectations, thus the presenter will look unconfident and give what they think is a poor presentation.

Now how does one overcome barriers such as these? Well it varies person to person but there are a few basics, the first being confidence. Presenters need to feel confident in their knowledge of the topic they speaking on, they need to be confident that they can articulate themselves enough to get their point across, and they need to be confident that they will not let their little insecurities create pressure and anxiety. One thing that can help speakers become more confident is practising their presentation, as many times as necessary, because as they say “practice makes perfect.” Another way to overcome some of those barriers faced by presenters is to be passionate about the subject being addressed, presenters should put their whole hear into it. That is how they ran the workshop, at the end the groups that were created, and in some cases individuals, presented on a topic of their choosing not and assigned topic, this lead to some very powerful and meaningful presentations.

Overall I believe that through workshops such as this, youth can become even more powerful then they already are by making sure their voices are heard and respected, which will only make the future of our communities brighter.

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March 26, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 Gathering Our Voices, Media Events

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