Feature Story
Speaking skills help

When the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation needed to help its employees be better public speakers and presenters, the organization turned to Lakeland College’s Emergency Training Centre (ETC) for help.

ETC quickly responded by building an enhanced presentation skills course for the organization.

Content was based partly on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1041 Fire Service Instructor Professional Qualifications course. Added was information about teaching and learning theory, effective lesson planning, useful audio/visual strategies, and presentation tips.

Longtime ETC instructor Jim Bristowe delivered the course in July to a class of nine over a period of four days in Strathmore, Alta. He presented interactive lessons that modeled how to be a confident public speaker. Students also received a customized course guide to reinforce what they learned.

man in yellow plastic fireman's hat holds fire extinguisher as part of presentation“Learning activities where students are engaged make the learning more real for them,” says Bristowe. “At the end of the workshop, they also put what they learned into practice by creating and presenting a mini-lesson plan to their colleagues.

“I was overwhelmed with the dedication these students put into the discussion and learning activities, and the high-quality presentations they delivered at the conclusion of the course. Their efforts are a true testament to how an individual can become confident in their presentation abilities once they are equipped with the skills needed for public speaking.”

Students lauded both the course and Bristowe. In their evaluations participants said the course was exactly what they needed to be clearer communicators in their organization and also strengthen the organization through that communication. They also described Bristowe as genuine and as “a really outgoing instructor who made us all feel important”.

The learning was two-way. Bristowe says he left the course with an enriched understanding and appreciation of First Nations culture, including the seven natural laws and sacred teachings of First Nations culture.

Besides a variety of presentation tips, participants also left the course with a certificate of completion from ETC.

The enhanced presentation skills course is available to other organizations and businesses as a course or team building exercise. It can be delivered onsite in Vermilion, at the business or at another location.

For more information about the enhanced presentation skills course, contact Clint McCullough by calling 780 853 8437, or emailing Clint.McCullough@lakelandcollege.ca

Photos: Final presentation topics ranged through practical arts such as tying a necktie, to sharing First Nation traditions  and to emergency services related topics such as safe use of a fire extinguisher (right) and implementing an emergency response guide (top). For more photos, check out the Lakeland College Emergency Training Centre Facebook page.
August 9, 2016