Public speaking in Dubai
Be a better public speaker and boost your career or social life 2 Comments
- Picture 1 of 2
Public speaking is a doddle for the lucky few; meanwhile, the rest of us wake up at 4am in a cold sweat the morning before a big presentation. Need help? If you haven’t yet heard of it, Toastmasters International is a global organisation with a membership of more than four million people worldwide. We bet you didn’t anticipate that many people shared your desire or determination to get a handle on the tricky task of being a captivating speaker.
Saira Ranj, a Dubai-born Indian and the elected president of Think, Grow, Inspire and Succeed – better known as TGIS, one of Dubai’s ‘chapters’ of the international community – explains that there are now 66 Toastmaster groups in the UAE alone. TGIS, her Sheikh Zayed Road branch, has more than 40 members. ‘During each session, we work from a manual that talks about prepared speeches,’ she explains, adding that throughout each person’s membership they will regularly give speeches to the rest of the group to build confidence. These are prepared with the help of a mentor: a long-standing member of the group, such as Ranj, who has been with the TGIS group almost five years and has conducted more than 40 speeches herself. If you’re a new sign-up, you’re free to wait until you feel ready to take your first speech – there’s no rush.
Each of the Toastmasters’ fortnightly meetings lasts two hours, during which time between three and five speeches will be performed, and feedback will be given. ‘You work from another manual for evaluations, and then there’s a third manual on how to handle impromptu features,’ adds Ranj. ‘Everybody who joins needs to work through these manuals to get all the skills they need.’
Each Toastmasters group, Ranj explains, contains members from every conceivable profession. ‘We have vice-presidents, bankers, pilots, teachers, everything – almost every profession involves situations in which you’ll need the ability to speak confidently in public.’
Though the main focus of the organisation is improving members’ public-speaking skills, Ranj is quick to emphasise that this isn’t the only reason people decide to join. ‘Public speaking is a great tool for enhancing your confidence in a lot of situations, and you can learn by watching people on stage, and slowly taking up small roles within the meetings long before you get on stage and start an actual speech. It’s all about developing yourself, boosting your self-esteem, and from that emerging as a confident communicator and leader.’
Perhaps most importantly of all, Ranj stresses that TGIS Toastmasters is an encouraging environment. ‘We’ve had people stutter and stammer their way through speeches on stage and nobody laughs or giggles, because it’s all about supporting each other. You’ve got to be there to understand, and that’s what we invite you to do.’
TGIS Toastmasters’ meetings take place on the second and fourth Saturday of the month (the next is on Saturday January 27), at Emarat Atrium, Sheikh Zayed Road at 6.30pm. The Toastmasters manuals and kit are Dhs132; annual membership is Dhs400. www.tgistoastmastersdubai.org (050 457 1432).
Time Out Dubai,
- Al Quoz(10)
- Arabian Ranches(2)
- Bur Dubai(8)
- Business Bay(6)
- Downtown Dubai(1)
- Dubai Investments Park(2)
- Dubai Marina(1)
- Emirates Hills(2)
- Festival City(1)
- Green Community(3)
- International City(2)
- Jebel Ali(1)
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers(3)
- Knowledge Village(3)
- Motor City(1)
- Nad Al Sheba(1)
- Oud Metha(6)
- Sheikh Zayed Road(11)
- Umm Suqeim(1)
Most viewed groups
- Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs
- K9 Friends
- Make-A-Wish Foundation UAE
- Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai (RDAD)
- Dubai Autism Centre
Our favourite features
Selfie-worthy Dubai hotel lobbies Which Dubai hotel lobbies look so great you just have to take a picture?
Dubai’s celebrity fans Pictures that show how much the stars love Dubai
Travel: Great summer holidays 20 trips within six-and-a-half hours flying time from Dubai
29 burgers you have to try in Dubai Dubai burgers that are way more than just a patty and bun
Do something different in Dubai Ride the Seabreacher, enjoy a desert safari or book a table at a club in...
Dubai's best restaurants 2015 The 67 best restaurants in Dubai - this is where to eat out in Dubai
50 delicious recipes from Dubai chefs Learn how to whip up a food feast in the kitchen thanks to great Dubai c...
70 sunglasses you NEED to buy in Dubai Looking for some cool shades to get your through the Dubai summer?