Professional makeover?

This is Viv Groskop. She is a well known journalist, writer, broadcaster and stand up comedian. Also she helps people from all walks of life to try to improve their public speaking skills.

Now as I’ve said many times, I used to run a mile from any kind of public speaking. But in the last few years, through practice and I hope some interest from people, I’ve managed to get by in the art of public speaking. I’m not perfect by any means (who is?) but I’ve conquered those nerves about getting up in front of an audience and speaking.

This is where Viv Groskop comes in. Today, via a mental health organisation in London called Thrive LDN and the Sheila McKechnie foundation, I attended a workshop in improving public speaking skills. There were about 12 of us there and it was a tremendously rewarding and fun afternoon.

Viv is very good at what she does and her confidence and enjoyment shone through. She critiqued a short talk from me, referring to the tone of my voice and trying to change it. I’ve never heard anybody referring to the tone of my voice before but it made for interesting listening, so to speak.

Viv also referred to my warmth, engaging personality (shurely some mistake, ed) and said that I sell myself short. How did she come to that conclusion?! Because I’m my own self critic, and try to be a perfectionist. I beat myself up too much, and that’s probably why I haven’t achieved as much as I might have done. Making myself look foolish is a number one reason for that.

I know I can do it, be it public speaking, umpiring cricket, tutoring umpires etc, but those inner demons always make an appearance. But it was excellent to have a highly thought of professional person to look at various bits of my body language and how I speak to give me some top feedback.

It was like being out of my comfort zone. But Viv put us all at our ease and it was a rewarding, and enlightening afternoon. Something different.

While I’m on the subject, check out Viv Groskop on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and also download a book from her about public speaking called “How To Own The Room”. Wonderful to meet people like this and I hope our paths cross at some point in the future.

A.S.D Brooks