‘If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it’

Monday, October 15, 2012

WHETHER its a job interview or a sales pitch, it takes skill to convey a message clearly and effectively in a limited time span.

“You have about five minutes to sell whatever you have about yourself to that person, and if you don’t do that right, you may end up losing everything. The first impression and first approach is the most important thing,” said Shawn Cassidy Narcis, the former president of the Brunei Speakers Club.

In instances such as a job interview, where the interviewer knows little about the interviewee, there is often a limited time span to get the message across. “This is especially the case if you are competing with 49 other people for the same job,” said Narcis, who was the club’s president last year.

To stand out from the pack, one needs to do his or her prior research on the audience and avoid going into the room poorly prepared and lacking confidence, he said.

“These are some of the skills you learn when being part of the club. When you learn these skills and apply it, people will see the difference. Especially when you speak with sincerity.”

Brunei Speakers Club, a non-profit organisation which is part of the Toastmasters International network, has two different “tracks” for its members: speech delivery and role-playing.

“You have to organise with members to see what roles you are supposed to do, and that teaches you some leadership skills. Every year there are two competitions, and we have a committee which sits down to organise it, so this is also an opportunity to learn and organise the event,” he said.

The key thing to keep in mind, said Narcis, is that plenty of guidance and advice will be at one’s disposal once the individual adopts a willingness to take up a role and challenge himself or herself.

“People are willing to help, because every Toastmasters member has the same mindset that they are there to learn, (they) and have a promise to help each other with any problems,” he said.

Current club president Mohd Ali Imran Osman said it is important to make a first impression that makes you stand out from the rest of the pack.

“First, one should create curiousity amongst the audience, something like a creative one-liner that makes the audience ask questions. That way it creates interest,” Mohd Ali Imran said.

“In order to be confident, you have to be prepared. Your preparation involves knowing your audience, eye contact and practice, practice, and more practice,” he said.

The Brunei Speakers Club will be hosting the 3rd Semi-Annual District 87 Convention for the first time in Brunei, which Narcis said is a good opportunity for interested parties to network with 300-400 like-minded individuals from Indonesia, Sabah and Sarawak.

“We also have three international speakers and one local speaker, whom are all very good. One of them has taken over nine years to become a champion speaker. This is the first time ever that speakers like these are coming to Brunei; to give talks about their experience and what they’ve achieved,” he said.

Narcis said as this is the first time the convention is held in Brunei, the club is is hoping to attract more youths to join the club.

“For me, Toastmasters has helped not just people in Brunei, but everyone around the world. Most importantly, people who have joined has seen the difference and grow with it. So if you are willing to learn, we are willing to help,” he said.

“When you learn, it gives you the strength and the ability to do presentations and the skills to help you think on your feet.”

Being a member provides the individual with an opporuntity to network, whether in Brunei or abroad, with any one of the 13,500 registered clubs worldwide, he said.

“If you want to go overseas and meet other Toastmasters members, you can just walk through that door, and everyone will know that you have the incentive to learn.”

Established in April 2000, The Brunei Speakers Club seeks to provide an avenue for interested individuals to improve their communication and leadership skills.

The Brunei Speakers’ Club is a local chapter of Toastmasters International, a non-profit organisation which gives its members the opportunity to develop and improve their public speaking abilities through local club meetings, training seminars and speech contests.The Brunei Times

Source: http://www.bt.com.bn/2012/10/15/if-you-cant-tell-it-you-cant-sell-it

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