‘Personal development’ is at the core of the JCI offering and both leadership teams were eager to collaborate on a training project that would offer great value to members as well showcase the vibrancy and enthusiasm within JCI in Northern Ireland.
Training kicked off at 11am at the Atlantic Hotel, with the consummate professional, Mark Smith (Deputy President for JCI UK) remaining unflustered at the lack of anticipated PowerPoint facilities! Mark began training by getting everyone to introduce themselves followed by a ‘fascinating fact’, after which we were asked to rate ourselves from 1 – 10 on our perceived public speaking ability. Whenever delegates were invited to talk for 1 or 2 minutes, depending on their preference, about their ‘most memorable moment’ it was clear that everyone had a lower opinion of their ability than what was reality!! Those delegates who thought they might find it difficult quickly saw that the supportive environment helped get them talking with ease.
Before lunch Mark invited us to take part in ‘extempore’, that is off the cuff public speaking. Delegates had to take an item from a bag and talk about it for about 2 minutes – the trick being to use the random object as a jumping off point to tell a story (real or imagined!). Once again everyone completed this task with ease, some with some more wacky creations than others!!
Once we returned from a refreshing lunch we listened to Mark explain about debating within JCI and the opportunities available within competition. Keeping in theme with the day of getting out of our comfort zone there was going to be some live debates to practice with. Lively exchanges followed on the subjects of ‘Good girls love bad boys’ and ‘Men are better drivers than women’ (I know, lol) with one team supporting the motion and the other arguing against it.
Mark closed the day by returning to the objectives and learning outcomes that each delegate set themselves at the beginning. It was inspiring to hear that, without exception, everyone felt as if they had grown and felt more confident as a result of coming along.
JCI Belfast president, William Redpath said ‘JCI is an organisation committed to personal development and days like today showcase that like no other. Mark was a terrific trainer and immediately made everyone feel at ease around the often scary topic of public speaking – we were lucky to get him and pleased to offer this to our members’.
JCI is a personal development and training organisation for young people aged 18 – 40. We provide development opportunities through workshops but also via volunteering, networking socials, business visits and international conferences. Please contact us for more information about becoming a member.
This post was written by Ryan Sheppard