Public Speaking Skill; Why Does Matter for Me???

Watching The King’s Speech makes me thinking how it is really related with everybody’s problem: public speaking. Of course the King George VI had a very serious speech defect but still public speaking frightens everybody.

I have been kinda obsessed to have a very good public speaking skill. Just this afternoon, I read a status of a friend in one of the social network. She wrote: is there any correlation between being nervous with speech of speaking. Hmmm..that question provokes my respond. For me: there is. Either people will talk faster or even slower when they have to speak in front of public. Which one you belong? As for me, I will speak faster with higher pitch:D

Back to my obsession, why I think I should master the public speaking skill? Well in my opinion that of course will help me to deliver speech properly, with good intonation and good body language. Speaking in front of the mass or crowd is not a new thing for me. Since in high school, I took part as committee in almost all school event. I was the vice president in school student organization so I was familiar with the situation. But still those experience haven’t helped me much.

What is the hardest thing when we deliver speech? It’s beating the nervousness. I really remembered the first time I came to toastsmasters meeting. At that time, I was a guest who was invited to give a speech in table topic session. This session was designed to provoke one’s ability to give a speech without preparation. I came to the stage and was given a situation where I had to present in front of the investors about the situation in Canada. Why they should invest their money there. That didn’t run smoothly, I reckon. Okay, I am good in English but I was really nervous at that time. That was my first visit and asked to give a speech of topic that I never heard before.

Joining toastmasters has given me enlightenment about public speaking. The senior members, who have completed level as competent communicator, speak fluently. The way they deliver the speech in front of the public really encourages me to be able to speak like them someday. I have completed my second project. It’s still a long way to go need to complete 10 projects to be qualified as competent communicator. Of course, the title isn’t merely the thing I want to pursue as for me doing the upcoming project will give me chances to practice and practice and at the end my skill will be sharpened.

Money can’t Buy Happiness

Many things indeed open my eyes that happiness can’t be bought by money. No matter how rich we are, at the end it’s nothing if we can’t give love and happiness to people around us.

Last night, again, I got an important lesson-learned from a movie I watched with my hubby. The title is The Nanny Diaries. It’s about a fresh graduate who happens to be a nanny of a rich little boy. The The Nanny named Annie and the boy is Grayer. Grayer is the only son of the wealthy couple who lives in upper east side of New York. He’s just the typical of upper east side clan boy, who goes to the best school and of course accompanied by a nanny. His life is so lonely, despite the nanny with him, because he never gets any attention from his parents. Slow but sure, he loves his nanny than his own parents. Sad..sad..sad!!

His parents want the best thing for him. They work until late and therefore rarely spend time only to take Grayer to the park or museum. To my sadness, the parents dispose what they want to Grayer. I can even figure out why Annie must read financial times or other scientific journal to Grayer, who’s only under five-age minor. When Grayer is sick with a very high temperature, Annie can’t reach his mother who is still at spa.

I wonder, if children like Grayer are scattered around us. From a sharing with a friend, she told me the similar thing experienced by her boss, a career woman and CEO of multinational company. At the end, she refused to be posted in other country and other kinda promotions and chose to quit and build her own company. Why? because she wanted to be focus taking care of her teenage-daughter, who’s in trouble. Although the daughter is already 17 years old, it’s never too late to be close to the daughter as she knows all of her career and wealth she’s been earning can’t compensate the happiness she gave to her daughter.

Bromo; Mist of Heaven

It’s like I were in the top of the world. The place where beauty and nature combine perfectly. It also answers my curiosity of what people keep saying that it’s indeed a really tranquil place, where my friend, Nora, thinks that God has given too many stars above it’s sky. Bromo and it’s surroundings.

Plan has been set. My trip there¬† isn’t only me and my hubby. Instead, we go with with other five friends. People call that I have another honeymoon, but I call it a reunion with old great friends. Too much work and study, of course we need a great vacation. The choice was swinging between Bromo and Lombok. Lombok is too far and needs extra time while Bromo is relatively near. That’s why we choose Bromo.

To get to Bromo, we took train to Surabaya, where Sasti welcomed us warmly. Hot tea, snack and delicious fried rice were served for our hungry tummy. She’s lovely, isn’t she?. Then the trip should be continued to Probolinggo and Cemoro Lawang. It too about two-hour-bus trip to arrive at Probolinggo. If you plan to go to Bromo, from bus station of Probolinggo, you have to take Bison. Bison is a call for a 12-passenger car that serves Probolinggo-Cemoro Lawang route.

Along the way to Cemoro Lawang, the scenery is very beautiful. The rain was pouring down on the half of our journey. Right and left, we could see greeny valley with tall-sturdy trees. Getting the higher altitude, palms are scattering everywhere. The temperature got cooler. We tightened our jacket. One hour passed and we arrived at Cemoro Lawang.

Cemoro Lawang is the common place where tourists like us rest before go to Taman Nasioanal Bromo-Tengger-Semeru. Arriving around 4 pm, not much too see there as it was raining. We stayed at local’s house. Besides homestaying like what we did, tourists can also find lodging around Cemoro Lawang. The fare varies, ranging between 200 thousand to 500 thousands. Homestaying is much more price-friendly. For a house with four rooms, we only paid 400 thousand.

Tummy needed to be fulled and we searched food after settling our carriage in to the house. There’s a food stall who served more choices of food than other. The food? Not bad. The price? Pretty much expensive. But what you can expect more in a place where delicious food is a luxury?? We prefered paying more expensive to get the tastier one, thought it broke our backpacking principle.

In the night before going sleeping, we stared at above and watched so many stars. Beautiful. It’s just a blessing for us who rarely see stars as we never have clear sky in the polluted city like Jakarta.

Alarm was set. We had to wake up at three in the morning to catch the sunrise. The experience of catching the sunrise was more like off road experience. We got in to hartop, an old jeep car with huge machine capacity, that took us in to a place where sunrise can be seen. The path was so damn rocky in several spots. Wooww…what a experience. We bumped in the car where cruised the pre dawn to the sunrise place.

Unexpectedly! There were many people arrived before us. We thought the spot would not crowded. We went wrong. It turned out that the gate to Taman Nasional Bromo-Tengger-Semeru are not only Probolinggo and Malang. But many people also depart from Pasuruan. Well, it’s paid off with great sunrise, even not too clear because of the cloud. And the eruption of Semeru, which my hubby said occurred in every fifteen minutes. And again, with good pics and good models like us. No offense:p

After sunrise, we went to Bromo crater. The hartop went down from the sunrise place and took us to the sand desert. There are two ways to reach the ladder to see the crater. First, walking and second, taking horse. Walking is free and taking horse needs 75 thousand rupiah. We chose walking. It’s not about price actually but to measure how fit us and know our endurance:D. People believe that the number of the ladders isn’t precise, meaning no one knows the exact number of the ladders. Maybe it’s around 200-250 ladders.

After Bromo crater, my friend, Yanto, suggested us to see the savana. He said that it was very beautiful. Actually it’s not included in a package we took. Therefore we had to pay 75 thousand because of the extra trip. It turned out worth-seeing as it’s so drop-dead beautiful. Had Peter Jackson seen this place, Lord of The Ring would have been taken in this place and not in New Zealand. It’s like I see a scenery which I often see in the calendar. The land is flowery, yellow and purple. The valley is green and gives calm into sould. Just like it very much.

I don’t know any other word to express my feeling to that place but heavenly:). You should go there.

Tips Writing the Recommendation Letter

Recommendation letter is an effective tool to promote or endorse a person to fit a position. It’s widely used by an employer before they hire a staff or universities for approving new students. As it can be a decisive mean, recommendation letter should be written in an impressive way.¬† Frankly, writing this letter is not easy for me. That’s why I read a lot of recommendation letters my lectures wrote to me. And based on my experience writing recommendation letter for my colleague Fenny, I would be more than happy to share following tips for you.

1. For recommending a person, please pay to attention to the wording! Avoid “weak and blunt” words. Instead of using nice and diligent, you can apply words such as determined.

2. To begin with, state what kind of relationship you have with the person you recommend. Write down how long and how do you know him/her.
Example: I have known Ms. Chandra since we went to Gadjah Mada University in 2000. While we were at college, we took the same concentration accordingly Political Economy International. Therefore, Ms. Chandra and I were involved intensely in class rooms, discussions, and paper work.

3. Then you can continue to your impression to the person. You can convey your experience with him/her and reveal prominent experience that may be effective such as tell how independent or determined she/he is. Academic award needs to be shared here.
Example: My first impression of her was she was a smart and clever student. And I found out that my impression was correct. Not only smart and clever, Ms. Chandra was also a determined student. She mastered all subjects she took and obtained excellent grades. She showed her strong passion in learning something new. Obviously she was a fast-learner and I am highly convinced that she stays the same now.

Make sure that you have covered up teh exceptional quality in every paragraph. Recommendation letter isn’t necessary the long one but brief, clear and giving correct description on the person.

4. When you finished conveying the quality of the person, you can sum up with a sentence reaffirming his/her quality so he/she is qualified for the position/scholarship.
Example: With the above-stated considerations, I highly recommend Ms. Chandra for the scholarship.

5. Don’t forget stating that you can be contacted for further discussion and state the most convenient time to call you.

Any other tips???

Active Listening

In our daily life, we’re often engaged in conversations with our partners, friends, couples, or opponents. Have you ever, in that conversation, felt that you’re dominant over your counterparts? You talk much more than them and listen less.

This happens with me. I talk too much and I realize that it’s one of my weakness. I have been trying to talk less and listen more, especially in certain occasions. Two years ago, my tutor in an official training shared his experience to be an active listener.

Active listener is that involves in active listening activity. Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. When talk to somebody, we often don’t listen to them attentively. We’re often distracted and not focus. The conversation doesn’t get our attention.

Becoming an active listener is not easy, but of course we can learn step by step. According to several sources, I share several steps:
1. Pay attention to others’ behavior and body language
2. Listen attentively what others say and feel their emotion
3. Having heard them, then paraphrase their statements
4. We need to ask clarification sometimes
5. State you view (if you want to) but after they say all thing

Active listening has several benefits such as avoid misunderstanding, makes us to listen to others attentively, and cause people to be more open up. This strategy is used widely to scrutinize cross-cultural conflict but in every day life, it’s very useful to improve the quality of relationship between us and our nearest persons.