Monday, March 7, 2011

Vol State is Not Afraid of Public Speaking

My communications teacher says that, though fear of death is listed in the top ten phobias around the world, fear of public speaking, actually ranks higher than the fear of death. So, basically, many people are more afraid to speak in front of a crowd than dying. Unbelievable! Well, one Vol State student proved last week that he can handle the pressure.
Zak Kiefer did so well in a sociology class last year that he earned an opportunity to contribute to a 90 minute workshop/training, sharing experiences that he and other students encountered while working on a Service Learning (SL) project. Zak is majoring in criminal justice, and he felt this was an important part of his career development. Last week the Tennessee Conference for Volunteerism and Service-Learning in Nashville hosted a seminar featuring over 60 workshops and exhibits. He had a chance to exercise his public speaking skills before a large audience. “Our room was pretty full. There were people from all over, students from other colleges, professors, and a lot of professionals, and even people from the government.”

Zak was able to glean a lot of insight from his Vol State professor, Bridgett Augustino-Wilke. "I am very proud of the work and level of professionalism that Zak brought to this workshop... and he was a great asset.” She went on to say, “He now has a Google link with a professional reference, a resume citation, a Professor's recommendation, and experience building a workshop presentation from outline to delivery and follow-up questions. It's a competitive job market for students these days. They have to go above and beyond their comfort zones… Zak has done that”

Zak encourages his fellow students to take advantage of these type of opportunities. He also said, “I learned a lot, and it was neat working with other people looking for solutions like we were. About half the people were just listening, but the other half were asking questions and wanted copies of our power point, so they could show it to their higher-ups. I got to answer a few questions about the roll I played in gathering data for our SL project. It was a lot of fun, being able to be there in front of a bunch of adults and have them ask us questions. It was a cool experience!”

Volunteer State Community College

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