Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Choosing a UK Boarding School - follow up on my AMC seminars

We had a wonderful morning speaking to parents at our Aberdeen Marina Club Seminar. The audience had a multitude of excellent questions which underlined the commitment they have to finding the right school for their children.

Key points to take away were:

1: You know your child best. Listen to advice from friends and family but be prepared to make your own decision.
2: Don't be afraid of asking questions. In my experience, the best schools are ready and willing to work with parents and actively encourage your questions in the knowledge that this is a path to a close, co-operative relationship.
3: Engage your child in the preparation process.
4: Don't just focus on academic skills, cultural and communication skills are equally important. Brandon classes offer all three!
5: Understand the needs of your child. Children develop at different rates and an appropriate school will encourage and support a student so he can develop his full potential.

 Thank you for being such a terrific audience!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most confident speaker of all?

One of the major barriers to confidence in public speaking is the uncertainty of how an audience perceives you as a speaker. Here is a five minute public speaking exercise for you that we often use at Brandon Learning Centre to develop self awareness.

Arm yourself with a book or newspaper. Find a quiet spot with a full length mirror. Take a deep breath and read the text as though, behind the mirror, lies an invisible audience. Watch your face and body language as you progress through the reading. Try to match your gestures and facial expressions to the content of your literature. Throughout the exercise, identify moments when you are relaxed and engaged and remember how this feels. With practice, the objective is to be able to extend these moments and to become aware of how you can adapt your behaviour to connect with an audience

When you first try this exercise, your initial reaction will be to laugh and/or be bashful. Persist and, as you drive away the demons of doubt, you will find that your fears will be replacing by your growing confidence.