I've noticed (once again) how difficult and impressing it can be for students or young graduates to speak in public when there's consecutive to do.
Did any of you take public speaking classes during your initial training or later on during your career?
For those of you who are training to-be interpreters, do you have specific public speaking classes in your respective countries to recommend?
Are there similar exercises you'd recommend one can practice alone or in small groups of people who do already know each other?
We had a wonderful public speaking module during the first half of the first semester in the first year of our two-year program. I don't know if it still exists there anymore.
We started out just getting used to speaking from a podium in front of our new classmates. Then we read speeches in our A languages, which taught us to read ahead and to think about the sense of what we were saying. Then we moved on to paraphrasing the speeches A to A, so basically interpreting them without changing language. When we came back to merely reading the speech, we couldn't remember why we were so scared! It was a hugely useful class.
What also helped was that each time we performed in any interpreting class, we had to use a podium. It increased our stress levels, but got us to feel comfortable. When I left school I found it uncomfortable at first to interpret sitting down (though I got used to it!), but the practice at the podium has served me well. When I have had to interpret before a very large audience, stage fright was minimal because I felt at home.
answered 14 Jul '14, 20:04