BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MANY people have a lot of ideas and opinions in their head but only some have the courage to speak up their mind and get their message across to another.
It is also often the case when a message is not fluently conveyed, people tend to misunderstand because the other end is not able to deliver.
For Stuart Lee, Principal Trainer of Articulation, having good communication skills is vital for individuals in order to succeed in anything they do.
“I really believe that is important but I am not saying that if you do not have the skills you are doomed to fail in life, that is unfair… but I would say that if you have communication skills, it opens a different door of opportunities,” he said.
“We have great ideas but because we are afraid of being laughed at and being ridiculed, we keep quiet. For me there are no silly ideas, it is how you present it. How you articulate it. No matter whether your ideas can be accepted or not but if you dare to speak, chances of you being heard is higher than you keeping quiet.”
Articulation is a division of Rhymin and Partners, a coaching and consultancy company that only train communication skills that are only related to presentation skills, pitching, business English and skills for interviews, among others.
Lee, who is a trainer and award-winning speaker, does not coach his students merely on theories in books but he trains based on his professional practical skills and personal experience.
“For me, I started off zero. I had stage fright, I can’t speak English until I was 16, not much talent but I persevere. I know how it feels like to have no confidence to be on stage… (while coaching) I share with clients my experience and knowledge when motivating them to speak. If you want to be better, you have to practice always,” said Lee, adding that he is academically trained in communications and a real practicing speaker.
Moreover, when articulating an idea, another factor that an individual ought to have in their presentation is structure.
“People can just talk on and on but you ask yourselves where is this leading. Structure includes opening, body and conclusion. The structure itself is actually simple but the complexity comes with the skills and knowledge that you learn and experience. Any presentation and speaking without structure is going nowhere,” said the Toastmasters member.
Talking about getting involved in the communication skills business, one of Lee’s reasons is that public speaking and language have always been his passion when he was young as he believes words can be influential.
“Secondly, I think in the world today many people have a lot to say but they can’t seem to articulate it and it is most apparent in job interviews. You studied so hard but a simple question of ‘Tell us something about yourself’, they got stuck. For me, it’s a lost when they cannot articulate.”
The courses offered by the training centre is not limited only to working professionals and adults but also youths and school students.
“I think it is a skill set that they should learn at this age so that in the next 5-10 years they can expand and do something with their life. Starting this year together with Ministry of Education, I will be giving one-hour workshops on the fundamental skills on presentations,” Lee added.
The Gadong-based establishment is usually a preferred communications training centre for both government and private agencies who are its annual clients.
“For the private individuals that we have now, I guess it still can be better because reaching out to the public to take up the course is tricky… because those who need it do not dare to raise their hands up to come to this class. So far, my students are doing well and I make sure there are 10 people and below in one session so as to be more focus and attentive,” he said.
Courses that are offered at Articulation includes Presentation Skills for Organisations, Presentation Skills for Youth, Pitching Skills for Organisations, and Presentation Skills for Adults.
The centre is equipped with a small lecture hall that can accommodate some 20 people and should you be interested to sign up, visit them at Unit 40, 2nd Floor, Block C, Gadong Central, Simpang 21, Jalan Gadong.