Personal views

The last meeting, on Thursday 30th August, was characterised by the usual variety of speeches and ideas, and what really stood out was the high level of delivery they all had.

Wellcome Musiyamanje’s “Personal Identity” was his first icebreaker in the “Innovative planning” Pathway program. He started wondering how we can talk about who we really are, and not about some “exterior” aspect. He took his first name as an example, something which always caused some additional, puzzling questions when he introduced himself to someone else. He amusingly confirmed that people usually said “Wellcome, you’re welcome”; he also added the other two recurring questions they made were if he was Nigerian and if he were a student. Questions could define three different types of personal aspects. There is the “Personal Identity” (our own features and characteristics), the “Personal Image” (how we are seen by the others) and the “Personal Brand” (a combination of both elements). Wellcome has several qualifications, but they don’t define his identity: another person, too, could have the same qualifications, but they will never be him. Talking about his job and what he does, as well, doesn’t define him. However, his personal identity can be revealed by what he likes, for example, to teach, to solve problems and to help the others… and if he succeeds in all this, he’ll be happy and, answering to a thank you, he’ll say “You’re welcome”.

Eileen Scott, too, had her icebreaker speech in the “Dynamic Leadership” Pathways program, although this was certainly not her first speech in our club. She started recalling her first icebreaker nine years earlier when the path to regain her abilities as speaker had started. She thinks what helped her a lot was the evaluation, so she decided to do a survey about herself, distributed among her family and friends. She summarised the results in a series of slides, and she commented on them. There were different types of questions, like what she likes and dislikes, what are her strengths and what one likes the best about her. At the end of this amusing examination, she quoted Robert Burns (“O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!”), and she concluded the greatest gift of all this was the evaluation.

Finally, Marcin Aleksander Radecki reached the fifth step in the “Interpretative reading” program, that is “The Oratorical Speech”. For this, he deftly read “Stephen Fry on the Catholic Church”, a transcript of his speech during a debate hosted in the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, in October 2009, about whether the Catholic Church could be considered or not a force for good in the world.

It’s always interesting and enjoyable to see such different types of speeches from the two parallel programs, the classic “Competent Communicator” Manual, and the new Pathway program, and you can be sure there will be other new interesting and engaging speeches at our next meeting, on Thursday 13th September.

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