DJ Elliott Danker trains MUS finalists in public speaking
Sweaty palms, elevated heart rates and feeling queasy are common when speaking in front of a large audience.
But thankfully for the Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) finalists, they went through a public speaking training session, which should come in handy, especially if they make it to the question and answer segment of the finals.
It was conducted by SPH radio DJ Elliott Danker last month, with 19 of the contestants spending two hours learning how to prepare and confidently deliver speeches in front of crowds.
They were taught presentation skills, persuasive speaking and how to recover from a mistake. Danker also gave everyone feedback based on their performance at the session.
For Dalvin Kaur, 28, it was a good opportunity to overcome her stage fright.
The controls associate told The New Paper: "I learnt I tend to speak slower, which comes off as unnatural, so Elliott advised me to practise in front of a mirror...
"I am also glad he gave specific tips and elaborate ways to overcome each problem by explaining the mentality behind it, followed by the techniques.
"Together with the events (where) we have had (to present) ourselves in public, I definitely feel more confident."
Shahira Jan, 26, also suffers from stage fright and has never done public speaking before.
The guest relations executive said: "When I am nervous, I mispronounce my words and speak too fast.
"The breathing techniques taught by Elliott were the highlight of the session. After practising, I realised that taking deep breaths slows my heartbeat and I feel much calmer."
Shahira also has her own coping techniques and is counting on them at the finals.
In a gown, I will have to look elegant. But in a swimsuit, I still have to remember to maintain my smile, be confident and look approachable while enjoying what I am wearing on stage.Tanooja Rai on learning to walk on the runway for the finale
She said: "I listen to music before going on stage and I try not to think too much about it.
"I am looking forward to enjoying myself and grabbing hold of this one-time opportunity to be on stage for the first time."
Sharmen Diana Frugtniet, 19, however, is familiar with public speaking and did many presentations when she was studying business at Institute of Technical Education College Central.
STRIKE A POSE
Learning how to pose while speaking in front of an audience is what she took away from the session.
The early childhood education student said: "I never knew different poses could show off different personalities.
"For example, putting my hands on my waist exudes confidence while placing my hands in front of me shows I am more elegant and diplomatic."
Added Sharmen: "Sometimes, I am so focused I forget to smile, but the session made me realise how important maintaining a smile is, especially in a beauty pageant."
Danker said: "There is a good mix of finalists this year. They all have their own style of speaking.
"What I liked was that everyone had a certain warmth and honesty in their tone of voice, which should go a long way.
"It was a fun experience because everyone was so eager to learn. As a teacher, it is always motivating when students are hungry for information and the finalists wanted to learn every trick in the book.
"I am sure it is going to be a good competition (tonight)." - CHARMAINE SOH
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