AUTHOR and communication strategist Jonah Nyoni on Saturday held a public speaking seminar to empower the Bulawayo community at Mimosa House.

Nyoni said the seminar, that empowered people on vocal image, speech effectiveness and confidence, was meant to open doors for people in the business sector.

“I realised that poor speaking skills and inability to articulate one’s ideas and opinions have led to many losing business opportunities and relationships, hence the need for the gap to be bridged,” he said. The author believes most people struggle to express themselves and that makes them lose business, sales and marketing opportunities as well as general relationships in life.

“Life is about how effectively one communicates and sells one’s story. The more effective you are, the better,” he said, adding that speaking is more than words, but a combination of art, expression, body language, gravitas and personal appeal.

“It is not about churning out words, but creativity, clarity, confidence, and the ability to grab attention and convince people.”

Nyoni insists that public speaking is part of everyday life.

“Companies are excelling because of a trainer who had to creatively and strategically communicate the best techniques on corporate effectiveness. Universities are standing because of a lecturer’s tutelage.

Society cannot do without public speakers.

The news you get on radio or television is about public speaking. As such we need great orators in our society,” he explained.

The weekend seminar was the first class in a series scheduled for this year, one for Harare next week and the final one will include people from other countries.

“The seminar targets people who want to be professional speakers such as customer service personnel, public relations managers, celebrities, students, chief executive officers and other c-suite executives,” he added.

Matobo traditional Chief Nkululeko Butholezwe Mathe said the seminar was of great help as it groomed people on how to conduct themselves. “As a newly-installed chief, the seminar was of great help to me. It helps one build confidence and tackle leadership skills,” Chief Mathe said, noting that as much chiefs represent culture and customs they have to move with the times. “Attending such a seminar helps us as leaders on how we should handle our people and they also contribute to the development of our communities as we are not supposed to rule over people, but to lead,” he added.

A co-editor, speaker and executive coach at Herrington Publication, Thomas Zimuto encouraged speakers to have confidence so as to convince the outside world and to internalise their ideas and opinions.

“We need speech to build communities through speaking. Let your speech talk to you before it applies to anyone else,” he said.

Source Newsday