Adulting 101: Public speaking tips from Nicole Cordoves
Speaking before an audience can be nerve wracking, whether it's the Q and A in a beauty pageant, or a speech at a conference. Preparing to speak can be just as daunting if you do not know where to begin.
We asked beauty queen, beauty pageant Q and A mentor, and It’s Showtime’s Miss Q and A judge Nicole Cordoves tips she teaches her own students when they have to prepare to speak in public.
1. Don’t be pressured to speak in perfect English. “The first obstacle that every student has to get rid of is pressuring one’s self to speak in perfect English,” Nicole shared.
“It has always haunted us Filipinos, we treat the English language as a determinant of social class," she said, adding that she hopes one day the Filipino public realizes that it's perfectly acceptable to speak English with a heavy accent.
2. Don’t speak as if you are reciting in class. Nicole recommends studying how others speak in public and possibly even unlearning what was taught to you in school.
“Look at Ted Talks, look at public speaking competitions on YouTube that is good na parang hey, that is another way to do it. Because there are a lot of students of mine na simulang (that start speaking by saying) ‘did you know that… ganun. It is the template Philippine educational system na public speaking na there’s a certain pitch, a certain tone, a certain diction that you have to adapt."
“But we often forget that speaking is really also your language, your identity, your expression, your personality. It is so personal."
3. For beauty pageants, think of different answers to a question. “For every issue, think of at least 3 different arguments that you can present,” Nicole said. “Those arguments could even take different sides... so that you do not end up with the typical answers in pageantry or you do not become repetitive of the previous [contestant’s] answers always," she said.
Check out Nicole's videos on “How Do I Find the Confidence to Speak,” “How to Be Quotable,” and “How to Prepare for a Job Interview":