Engaging audience key to public speaking
Published on: Friday, August 09, 2019
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KOTA KINBALU: The most challenging task in public speaking is to grab the attention of the audience and to maintain it throughout the whole speech.

It is truly disheartening when after two minutes of a speaker commencing a speech, the audience starts looking through the window or chatting or worse still yawning widely. 

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. However, the skill to engage the audience in public speaking is important in many sectors such as marketing, teaching, politics, community work and many others.

Sabah English Aspiration Society (SEAS) has given a serious attention in nurturing this skill at the young age. 

During the recent SEAS English Camp held from Aug 3 to Aug 4 at the SJKC Pei Yin, Membakut, Engaging the Audience Competition was the peak event of the camp. 

Out of over 200 participants, about 20 students age between 10 and 12 years old were recruited to participate in the Engaging the Audience Competition.

Each participant is mentored on one to one basis by a coach. 

The coaches are Malaysian students who reside in the United Kingdom, mainly from London and Manchester.

Nur Ashiera Natasha from Inanam, Kota Kinabalu emerged champion and took home the Zainal A Sanusi Trophy.

She was mentored by Assoc Siti Nur Syakirah Mohd Fauzi from London who was very excited that her talented young mentee is not only passionate about public speaking but also confident. 

Annabelle Magdalene and Lucas Chong, both from SJKC Kung Ming Beaufort, won second and third places, respectively.

 Mohd. Adib Abdul Rahman from Windsor, England who led the team of judges had a tough job in deciding the best amongst the young talents. 

The participants of the Engaging the Audience Competition also had an opportunity to get tips from a renowned international trainers in public speaking, Ahmad Fikri and Jamilah Samian.

SEAS President, Dr Zainab Kassim said that this year, the English Camp by SEAS is held concurrently with Active Learning Workshop for the teachers and Parental Skill Workshop.

 This year also saw the emergence of SEAS Kitchen which was in charge of the food and drinks during the camp and SEAS Martial Arts which performed during the closing ceremony. 

Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Education and Innovation Jenifer Lasimbang officiated the closing ceremony of SEAS English Camp 2019.

 In her closing speech Jenifer shared her experience on learning English the hard way during her time. 

She is very pleased that SEAS conduct English Camp every year which creates a golden opportunity for the students. 

The Assistant Minister also expressed her gratitude to all sectors which made the camp successful namely Elyna Wong, the principle of SJKC Pei Yin Membakut and her team, Sirhajwan Idek from Keningau Vocational College and his superb team of 35 facilitators and Julie Ezwin and Salina Othman from United Kingdom with their team of UK facilitators. 

About 30 UK facilitators came to help the SEAS English Camp 2019 in Sabah and paid for all their travelling expenses themselves.

Dr. Zainab in her closing speech expressed her appreciation to Budreh Hj Ahmad the Beaufort District Education Director for his support to SEAS. 

This year the English Camp was participated by 200 students from almost 20 schools from all over Sabah and Labuan. 

She attributed the success of this year’s camp to the able management and leadership of the camp director, Zaiazieyana Yanti Zainal, SEAS Secretary,  from SK Pengiran Jaya Membakut. 

Dr. Zainab also thanked the generous donors mainly from United Kingdom who sponsored the English Camp this year.


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