Improving Communication Skills

Our delegation has started off its year just as busy and active as we ended the last one! After an exciting visit from Azerbaijan last week, we spent this Saturday working on our speaking skills in preparation for the upcoming simulations in Tübingen and Hohenheim and of course the grand finale in New York. Our speech training was held by Dr. Marco Behrmann, who has generously worked with the Tübingen delegation for the past couple of years. 

Communication skills are essential for diplomatic work and play a big role in achieving our goals when negotiating in New York. How do we best structure our speeches, use our body and posture and accentuate words to effectively bring across what we mean to? And how can we think of all this when we are nervously standing in front of a group of strangers? These were some of the core issues we tackled in this session. In the first exercise, we were given random topics to talk about for 90 seconds and explain our opinion on. After the speech, the listeners used their feedback cards to give the speaker specific feedback on the content of the speech, the body language used and the pronunciation of words. It was extremely interesting to focus only on one aspect of a speech, for example body language, which caused us to notice little movements we had never really thought about before. This procedure was repeated in the second exercise, but this time, we were given topics out of our respective committees. This meant we not only had to focus on our speech, but also on a topic more complex than before. 

Although giving speeches is usually quite nerve-racking and something most people do not enjoy, what we have learned over the last couple of months is that speaking skills improve over time. We have all made extreme progress since we held our first agenda-setting speech in November and are feeling more and more prepared for New York.

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