Public Speaking: How to improve communication and public relations Skills for personal effectiveness

The Open Letter by Gabriel Lubale to Members of Jabari Club: Acceptance Speech as the Patron on Friday 24th September 2010

Dear Friends,

I have never met most of you; except the 6 members of your big network namely Leonard, Abu, Connie, Pam and one Lady. Sorry and I tender my profuse apologies to you that I cannot remember your name.

I was delighted and very grateful to be invited in your great Club which you formerly inaugurated on Friday 24th September 2010.  This is a noble idea and I congratulate all of you for the initiative.

I am quite humbled and honored by the decision to be nominated as the Pioneer Patron for the Club. I will insightfully work with your interim Officials to steer the Club. I also promise to do my best serving the Members.

I said in my opening remarks or was it my maiden speech; I leave those in attendance to give the verdict.   Connie has given an exalting introduction about me which coincidently echoes the one done by Pam that night. Naturally that creates “butterflies” in my stomach; I am a just less mortal like anyone of you.

Yes, I count my blessings. I am a Part-time Lecturer in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Mombasa Campus, Mt. Kenya University (MKU) Coast Campus and Government Training Institute (GTI) – Mombasa. I hold these privileged posts with deep-felt gratitude to the men /women who have given me the chances.  My fulltime job, I am Immigration Officer stationed at Old Port Mombasa.

So as not to put myself under any pressure due to the higher expectations created among the members by my “Curtain Risers” – Pam and Connie. I would like to ask you to perceive me as a peer. One of my revered values is to be a lifelong student; friends there is plenty I shall learn from you all.

Indeed I believe I have enormous wealth of experience gained while teaching Public Speaking; a key topic in Public Relations and Communications Course. I lecture this course in the Executive Master of Business (EMBA) Masters Degree of JKUAT and some in-service courses in GTI. I shall bring on board critical knowledge and skills in PR and Communication and also other interrelated disciplines such as Journalism, Marketing, Advertising and Propaganda.

If you have good communication skills you will succeed in your professional and social live. This is a fact.

Public Speaking is an Art and can be learned. Public Speaking does not need to be in your DNA or you be gifted the like of the fabled orators:  Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Obamas, Mandelas and Patrick Lumumba of this World.

The main objective of Public Speaking is to express and not to impress, laced with some humor.  You may remember the common phrase in lower level Primary School “practice makes perfect”.

I also said that to be a good public speaker you need to read many books. I quoted a Chinese Poet Li bai who wrote “to be wise you have to read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles).

My choices of books are the motivational books and biographies. My favourite authors are Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Sun Tzu, Tom Peters, Brian Tracy, Stuart Lichtman, Rhonda Byrne, Napoleon Hill and  Wallace Wattle to name a few. However you are free to choose any other good book (s). Some members floated titles of the spiritual books; the Bible and specifically the Book of Ecclesiastics.

You should endeavor that after reading a book; first you should be able to remember the title, the author, main theme and the story in the book.  Finally, please remember these three things. Share the story! Share the story! Share the story!

We had a plenary session (brain storming) in the Meeting. I conducted a quick research and the investigation revealed that none of members present had read a book in the last 3-6 months. I told them of the story by certain an American friend of mine. She said with absoluteness in her voice that “if you want to hide anything from an African just put it in the books, they just do not read after formal Schooling”. My intuition was that she was racist.   May be I should consider my opinion? I might have been wrong! This same sentiment was echoed by Mark Twain many years ago ” a man who does not read good books has no advantage over a man who can’t read them”.

We resolved so that we break-way (change management) from the past, instill in the discipline and start off. We have to begin reading selected books. I have volunteered to donate two e-books from my virtual Library. I would like to fulfill my promise.

Now, I “sambaza” these ones: As a Man Thinketh, classical written by James Allen   and Power Speaking – The Art of the Exceptional Public Speaker by Achim Nowak

The challenge continues. We have to outperform ourselves. I am re-reading these books in preparation of the next meeting! I am convinced that out this Great Group many influential people will emerge and will be indebted to the club. Please “remember us”. Personally I already owe a big thank you. Cheers.

Yours sincerely,


Gabriel Lubale

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