A session on public speaking and debate was held at North South University (NSU) on May 23. It was the third event in a series of workshops conducted at NSU, East West University (EWU) and University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) by Bangladesh Centre for Communications Programs (BCCP).
The session started off at 9:30 am, as 100 students chosen from both science and business departments by BCCP signed up for their attendance and took their seats. Program Officer Ishita Sharmin Rayhan began the event with a recapitulation of the previous session, ensuring all the 100 minds were jogged and fully awake, ready for the day's session. Followed by the recapitulations, the students were introduced to the speaker for the first session, G. Sumdany Don.
G. Sumdany Don, on being introduced, announced that due to some unavoidable reasons he will not be conducting the session and apologised. Just as the students were about to descend into chaos, he snapped everyone out of it stating that's the first rule to a good speech: a powerful opening. G. Sumdany Don, besides being an adjunct faculty at EWU and ULAB, is an independent consultant, career counsellor and trainer, also working with Prothom Alo Jobs and Bdjobs.com. Sumdany elaborated on the “10 Cool Rules of Successful Public Speaking” throughout the highly engaging session -- simple tricks and very easy-to-follow steps to become a more confident public speaker; some of the repeatedly highlighted points were attention to audience, giving importance to non verbal and verbal communication and being confident about the subject matter of the speech or presentation to the core.
He followed up his speech with a fascinatingly effectual activity in which 6 participants enthusiastically volunteered. The participants chose one unique topic each from 10, and gave an impromptu speech following the rules taught throughout the session. Each of the participants was given 2 minutes to speak; the volunteering participants looked notably confident as they spoke on topics which included CGPA, favourite brand, part time jobs and more. This was followed by individual feedbacks on the speeches from Sumdany and a Q/A session. The session ended with a video stressing the power of communication and lunch break.
As the lunch break ended, the participants were introduced to the second speaker of the day, Mirza Salman Hossain Beg. Salman, a man of many talents and currently the Head of Sales and Marketing at G&R Ad Network, explained how his session would be about the importance of leadership and the perks and rules of debating. However, as he commenced his session, Salman immediately grabbed the attention of everyone when he successfully demonstrated leadership in a student by purposefully littering the floor, all the while succeeding in compelling her to pick it up despite not being told to. He proceeded to elaborate on “12 steps to learn debating” as the participants listened on carefully. This was followed by a “Live debate” in which 6 volunteers were again chosen to create 2 teams, who very energetically and (for the audience) amusingly debated on “Shakib Khan vs. Ananata Jalil”, team “Shakib Khan” emerging the victor at the end.
Finally, Salman took the audience though a personal yet very relatable presentation which emphasised on setting concrete goals in life and having the perseverance of going against all odds to follow through. A memorable quote in the presentation which summed up the essence of the session was:
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice.” -- William Jennings Bryan.