What did you learn from the Public Speaking Program?

An interview with Angeliki Kathopouli, former participant in the Public Speaking Program (spring 2016). She is now finishing her master’s degree in physics and is academic officer at UNISCA: United Nations International Student Conference of Amsterdam.                                                                                                                                                                           

Why did you apply for the Public Speaking Program?

I was excited about the United Nations and wanted to do more to pursue my dreams of working there in the future. I thought public speaking skills would be very valuable and this program looked like a great exercise.

What did the first session look like?

Everybody was nervous for the first session, we were all a little scared of public speaking. However, the trainers made us feel very comfortable. We spoke about our fears and realized we were all in the same boat.

In terms of content, we were allowed to speak about subjects we liked, that we were passionate about. That really helped because you get enthusiastic about what you are speaking about. When giving feedback, the trainers were direct but motivating, I really liked that.

‘It’s very different to see what you do from the perspective of your audience.’ 

What was your favorite exercise?

There was one exercise we did a couple of times where we had to give a speech in front of a camera. This was extremely confronting but also valuable. It’s very different to see what you do from the perspective of your audience, I learned a lot from that exercise.

What was the most important thing you learned during the Public Speaking Program?

I am more careful with how I frame things. During the program, we did a framing exercise and I learned that if I want an honest answer, I should ask open questions.