I suppose soon the invitation letters to PAC for those who passed the PTD Examination will be out soon, if it isn’t already. For me, PAC were always enjoyable. (Not there word were.. hehe). Apart from a break from the usual office routine, I get to meet new people. Make friends, if fortunate… and the chance for roti bakar and kopi kaw at Kluang Railway Station. Nyum, nyum.
Anyway, the tips that I can share with you, is nothing like the ones written by AZ Haida. I stumbled upon her blog at the time when I needed it most. (since then, I have been an avid reader of her blog). So, here are tips from AZ Haida. I hope it’s really helpful for you as it was for me. If you’re not going to PAC, share with those you know are going.
AZ Haida said:
"1. Volunteering is good. Dominating is not. If one of your peers volunteer to take over any task after you have done so – make way for them;
2. It is just as important to listen to what others have to say as to voice out your opinion. So, speak up, but do give consideration for other people’s views too;
3. Never say “I can’t” when you are invited to present for the group. Even when you know your BM or English is not that good, just give it a try first. The main thing is that you dare to step forward and rise up to the challenge;
4. A good diplomat does not need to raise his or her voice unnecessarily to emphasis a point – how it is said and one’s body language could help drive any of one’s point home. And no, there is no need to respond defensively or aggressively upon any provocation, imagined or otherwise;
5. Everyone should use the given 5 minutes effectively for public speaking. Less than 4 minutes could mean that you lack confidence and just want to rush things to get them quickly over with. Over 5 minutes is pointless because the panel stopped awarding any point after the bell is rung twice;
6. Avoid talking on everybody’s favorite topic. After a while, it gets a bit tiring to hear people talking about the same thing again and again and again. During the recent sessions, social ills and ICT were the top topics chosen by the participants – and yes, they became dull rather quickly;
7. Posture speaks a lot. Stand straight, eyes front, shoulders back, use gesture as appropriate and no hands in pockets or behind your back. Make eye contact by scanning the whole audience and change facial expression to emphasise points;
8. Less is more. Covering 10 tips on how to be a good parent is too much for a 5 minutes speech. Alternate your volume, alternate your speed and stop for pauses as you move from one point to another;
9. Keep it simple. Give a concise and precise introduction and stick to simple English if you think you’ll have some trouble pronouncing some ‘big words’. The impact you make during the introduction can hook or lose the audience’s immediate attention. And no, telling a well-known (lame) joke does not make a riveting introduction;
10. Even when you know that you won’t be joining any physical activity due to some constraints, just be attired appropriately when asked to do so. It’s part of what PTDs refer to as esprit de corp."
*AZ Haida is a PTD officer, currently pursuing her Masters degree in Japan, and will be delivering another baby anytime soon, I believe.