Public speaking skills critical to influence people, says Manyin

From left: Thomas, Manyin, Lim and Sudarsono showing copies of Lim's new book on public speaking.

KUCHING, Sept 12: The ability to speak in public is an important skill as words have the ability to shape people’s perceptions and actions, said Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.

He opined public speaking is a skill that is required by every leader, as leadership is related to changing people’s minds so they will want to follow you.

He said this when launching “Public Speaking — ‘Uncle’ Mike’s Recipe’, a book on enchancing public speaking skills by Micheal (Mike) Lim Seng Gyup, at Sarawak Club here today.

“If you don’t know how to persuade, you don’t know how to talk, then you cannot persuade people to follow you,” he said, when underlining the importance of clearly articulating one’s points and stating one’s purpose.

Manyin related this to the importance of studying the English language as English is the language of science, technology, ability, and diplomacy, amongst others.

“Not only that, it (English) is a language which is no longer a luxury, but so you can survive in this hyperconnected world…. In the past we used to say the world is borderless, but I think today, it is more than borderless — it is a hyperconnected world,” he said, emphasising on the English language’s status as a lingua franca and the access it provides for people to tap into global knowledge.

“Public speaking is important not only for us politicians, but also for teachers to convince their students that English, mathematics and science, if you want to compete and survive in this hyperconnected world, you cannot run away from this (mastering them),” said Manyin.

Copies of Lim’s book will be distributed to 198 secondary schools in Sarawak.

Earlier during his speech, Lim said the book was a collection of skills and thoughts about public speaking which he hoped to impart to the reader. He also thanked all those who have contributed towards bringing the book to fruition.

A long-time active member of Kuching Toastmasters Club, Lim can usually be found in the thick of programmes and activities promoting and teaching public speaking skills to the public, especially among the youth.

Meanwhile, when asked by the MC what was part of the book held the most significance to him, Lim said it was the part about trying again and again, and to not get discouraged when learning and applying public speaking skills and knowledge.

The book was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research and two copies will be distributed free to each of 198 secondary schools in the state.

During the launch, copies of the book were also symbolically presented to state Education Department representative Thomas Kayan who received it on behalf of the state Director of Education, and Toastmasters Youth Communication Camp organising chairman Stanley Ngu.

The volunteer-run camp which seeks to enhance public speaking knowledge skills amongst school students will be running its seventh annual camp later this month. Fees are subsidised for the students.

Also present at the event were Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman, various school principals and other guests. — DayakDaily