In April, 2018, Michael K. Cobb, CEO and Chairman of ECI Development, volunteered to host a complimentary public speaking course for the young adults of San Pedro, Belize. Over his 20+ year career in real estate development, Cobb has been invited to speak at many global events including the National Association of Realtors (NAR) annual conferences, and living and investing overseas symposiums.
Hosted by the Rotaract Club of Ambergris Caye, Rotaract Director of Professional Development Rachel Jensen mentioned, “Public speaking is the one of the most common phobias after death, and we [Rotaract] wanted to combat this fear within our young adult community members. As a club, we are hosting monthly courses for the young adults in Belize which are designed to offer practical training in developing lifelong skills that we need for successful futures.”
Taking place at the Caye Financial Centre, Cobb began his presentation with his back turned to the audience, reading a long paragraph from his PowerPoint slide.
After making it halfway through the text, he turned around, faced the audience and stated that this is what not to do when public speaking. Through interactive exercises, audience engagement, and divulging the “Top 10 Tips to Become a Confident Speaker,” in an hour and a half the attendees were introduced to key methods to giving a powerful speech.
“What is the one take-away from this course?” Cobb asked the audience when concluding his presentation. “Story” the group responded. “When building a powerful presentation, it is important to practice the story you want the audience to remember. You do that through the tips we shared, but only successfully when you clearly portray the story.”
The Rotaract Club of San Pedro was recently chartered at the end of last year. With a strong focus on community service and professional development, the Rotaract Club is an international subset of the Rotary Club geared towards young adults ages 18-30. Over the next year, Jensen stated that Professional Development committee will host a series of free events for the 18-30 year olds in Belize. Future events include training in customer service, self-defense, cooking, and dance lessons.