Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cops speak

This month of August, I have been most privileged to mentor the police trainees of region 12 in the area of public speaking. On August 2-3, I handled forty-eight police trainees composing Alpha Company: young and vibrant women and men who have decided to join the police force for varied personal and professional reasons.
I have to admit, I had such wonderful time learning with the trainees who called me Professor. Professor, hmmm, quite flattering.
I taught them the essentials of public speaking and then after the lecture, one by one they impressed me with their individual speeches. Naturally, I critiqued them. It is part of the learning process. I also encouraged them to learn how to critique a public speaker. Teaching them how to critique will also train them so that by the time they leave the halls of the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) - the Police Regional Training School (RTS), they would have become adept at observing and learning from great speakers, most especially in the areas they will eventually serve.  
Before the group starts with their individual speeches, I always encourage them with this simple line: Impress me. Haha isn’t that tough for beginners? It may sound so but usually in all the public speaking classes I have handled, the participants normally rise to the challenge. You set the standards high; they elevate themselves at par with the standards. No sweat.
Lest I be misunderstood, I always give them time to prepare their speeches and practice it before the actual exercise. We also deal with platform panic or stage fright. I give them tips to “fly their butterflies”, so to speak.
On August 9-10, it was the turn of Bravo Company consisting of forty-seven students to learn the essentials of public speaking.
By afternoon of August 9th, eight participants have spoken. Because they volunteered, they received something from me. Talk about motivation huh! Thirty-nine more trainees spoke on the final day of my lecture, August 10th.

Like writing, I love public speaking. For the past ten years, several doors have been opened to me because of my love for it. I have taught at the Regional Mobile Group (RMG) 12 in 2004; 602nd Infantry Brigade (IB), Philippine Army (PA) in Carmen, North Cotabato under then Colonel (now General) Pete Soria in 2008; PhilDARE officers of PhilDARE-Gen. Santos Chapter in 2007; Police Community Relations Team Training where I handled day-long Public Speaking lecture at RTS 12 in 2007; Communication lecture integrated in the Speakers’ Bureau Seminar at 601st IB, PA (now 1002 IB) in 2004; Public Speaking lecture incorporated in the SOT Refresher Training at 1002 IB, PA in Malandag, Malungon, Sarangani in 2007; young professional group belonging to Bread of Life Ministries in 2001; Gen. Santos “Twin Star” Jaycees, Inc. in 2003, and other venues.
It is really true that when you put your heart and focus on something you are truly passionate about, you will reap your just rewards. It will open doors for you and most importantly, you are able to share that passion. It is contagious.
After all, public speaking is both a discipline and an art. Discipline because you need to study it; read books; listen and learn from great speakers and art because as soon as you have mastered the craft, you can now experiment and create your own style.
The police trainees of both Alpha and Bravo companies lived up to the challenge. I saw how nervous some were when they delivered their first speech but I also saw how they worked on overcoming their “butterflies”. Like they say if you want to conquer your fear, confront it. But naturally, you must have a mentor, an ally or support group in the process to ease the way. These trainees knew that everyone in the group supports each other. They all want each other to succeed; to finish well. That’s the spirit.
At the end of the training, I asked my lecture participants to evaluate me. It was their turn to critique their lecturer. What all of them wrote is really heartwarming and uplifting. Good for the heart. Thank you women and men of Alpha and Bravo companies. I say women as well because there are twelve female police trainees for Alpha and another twelve female trainees for Bravo. That’s about twenty four women aspiring to be in the police service. Oh the sacrifices they have to go through just to join the police service. Indeed these are brave men and women. They are courageous. They are indeed “brave hearts”.  I only have great admiration for them for braving the training.
But sacrifices always bring out rewards. So my dear police trainees (a.k.a. brave hearts), carry on and finish strong! 

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Food for thought: The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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