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(7)
- 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(2)
- Knowledge Village(2)
- Motor City(1)
- Nad Al Sheba(1)
- Oud Metha(7)
- Sheikh Zayed Road(10)
- 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
- Dubai Autism Centre
Our favourite features
An essential guide to renting in Dubai Beat price hikes, pick the right area, and know your rights
How to get a pay rise 20 expert tips to bag more cash from your boss
30 top outdoor bars in Dubai As the temperatures cool we round up the best places to drink outside in...
26 wet and wild watersports in Dubai Try kneeboarding, take a frantic ride or go down the world's largest wat...
20 best music movies ever The best music docus, star biopics and concert films ever committed to c...
Dubai: BBQ City How and where to barbecue, and restaurants to dine with the pros
10 Downtown bars and clubs to try True to its name, some of the city’s classiest bars are found in Downt...
Where do chefs eat in Dubai? Celeb chefs and local culinary heroes on where they REALLY dine
18 blow out spa treatments in Dubai Splash out with these once-in-a-lifetime spa packages
Where to watch the Premiership The best spots to catch the new Premier League season
Dubai’s best breakfasts We’ve been rising early to find the best meals to start the day
11 to try: Dubai museum guide The emirate's best museums and sights rated
Top dim sum restaurants in Dubai Recommended restaurants to sample the Chinese dining tradition
83 ways to save money in Dubai Dubai’s experts in cost efficient living share their tips
Dubai's best takeaways Indian, Chinese, Arabic, pizza and more of the best food home delivery