How to Rock Your Christmas Party
Corporate events can be great fun! Especially corporate Christmas parties are usually marked with thick red crosses in employees’ calendars. Each year and in every organisation, one part of these events is never missing: speeches! Whether it is the CEO who takes a look back at the achievements and events of the year, or employees that are awarded for outstanding performances – speeches form an integral part of each corporate Christmas party. Not only do they have a major impact on the fun and success of the party, they also cause a whole lot of stress to those who have to get up on stage.
The Stirling Public Speaking Society took exactly this challenge as their topic for this weeks’ session.
In order to make this challenge as vivid and real as possible, the society’s president Calum Murdoch succeeded to gain support of Stirling’s largest advertisement agency CreAd who opened their doors to host the session.
With the goal of showcasing how to turn the uncomfortable situation of being up on stage into a joyful experience that speakers will be happy to look back at, Calum and his fellow committee colleagues thoughtfully set up a programme with creative exercises and playful methods. After a short welcoming introduction of Jim Stableton (CreAd’s CEO) where he emphasized the importance of speaking and communication skills throughout all areas of everyday business, the Public Speaking Society committee presented the programme for today: The CreAd’s Film Festival Awards!
The idea of this award: members of the society are awarded for winning in different categories and have to give a short price receiving speech referring to their imaginative involvement in the ad. With short trailers of the best ads that the agency has created this year, different categories such as best actor/actress, best music or best visual concept, have been introduced. Calum Murdoch went first and opened the award with the example of him having won the best actor award in an ad where he played a family father that needed adult diapers. You can probably imagine the laughter of the audience as he was talking about his experiences of wearing adult diapers throughout the production of the ad. As an experienced speaker, he showed how to handle the balance in between a good sense of humour and sensitive or rather serious topics such as the need of adult diapers for elderly people.
Throughout the session many of the society’s members raised their hands to give it a try and come up on stage for a speech. Within this safe and supportive environment of the society, several members stated that they are starting to feel more and more comfortable and confident on stage now. Some even got to the point of very much enjoying themselves facing the audience.
I am usually quite shy and never liked to speak in front of larger audiences. I am really surprised how much I have learned so far and that public speaking can be that much fun. – Frank E., member since September 2016
After the last speech was given Jim Stableton thanked everyone for coming and revealed how impressed he was of the performances. This way of learning public speaking in a safe space left a mark on him as he mentioned that he is going to think about similar methods for workshops within his agency. He concluded that the members of the society are on the right track towards developing effective and highly job relevant skills. Everyday many of his employees are facing important presentations or meetings with clients, where exactly these kinds of speaking skills are required. He reminded everyone that the skills that they have learned today are applicable to a broad variety of situations:
“What you have learned today is just an example of how to take a certain starting point and take the conversation to any direction that you want it to go in order to achieve your objectives! It is needed everywhere in the world of business.”
Before the session officially ended he put on the video of Leonardo di Caprio’s Oscar speech, illustrating how to use a speech to your advantage!
If you are also interested in developing and enhancing your public speaking skills or if you face an important presentation soon and would like to be more confident in front of the audience, the society’s sessions take place every Monday. Meeting point is at 6:30 PM in the Atrium of the Stirling University. The programme varies each weak but you can be sure to find little warm-up games, ice breakers and all kind of different speeches in any of the sessions. Further information about the society and its activities can be found at the society’s Facebook page or on the Student’s Union website.
The members that attended this weeks’ session definitely have some ideas now about how to rock their next Christmas party – whether it is a corporate event or a Christmas dinner with friends.