Iriga city public school teachers conquer public speaking anxiety

A research-based extension activity of the College of Arts and Sciences- AB English Language Studies program was held at Zeferino Arroyo High School last June 8-10, 2022.

The three-day extension activity is a training workshop on public speaking titled “Speak up!: Secondary School Teachers’ Training on Public Speaking in the Teaching Profession,” which was participated by 179 attendees in the school.

“Even though I am a language teacher, I know I still have room for improvement with regard[s] to public speaking. Sometimes, I can feel the stage fright, especially if there [are] many people in front of me. I know that this training spearheaded by CSPC will be beneficial not just for me, but for all the attendees,” Verna Contreras, Teacher III, said in an interview before the start of the training.

John Romel Malate, a Mathematics teacher at the school, admitted that he has high speaking anxiety and aims to improve his oral communication skills.

“Somewhat, I really want to engage [uhm] in public speaking. Gusto ko talaga ma-train or ma-develop ang public speaking abilities ko.”

When asked about the factors affecting teachers’ speaking anxiety, Sharmaine Magistrado, a Senior High School teacher, posited that unpreparedness of the topic and fillers are some of the things that affect the performance of a public speaker, especially in the classroom context.

The three-day training workshop focused the topics on knowing the audience, understanding the opportunities and challenges of a public speaker, conquering stage fright, preparing speeches, and techniques for mastering the art of public speaking in the classroom context.

Dr. Marlon Pontillas, the overall committee head, presented his published paper titled “Reducing the Public Speaking Anxiety of ESL College Students through Popsispeak” to the participants.

He also demonstrated how Popsispeak could be integrated as a classroom activity to help students conquer their fear of public speaking and how his research can be replicated by the teachers in their proposed action research studies.

Dr. Pontillas asked nine teachers from the different areas to serve as students in the activity, and all these participants underwent impromptu speeches in front of the crowd.

Admittedly, all these teacher-participants experience anxiety while delivering their speech.

“Nakakakaba talaga siya [Popsispeak activity] and eventhough we’re already exposed to different speaking engagements, may anxiety pa rin talaga. The activity is very motivational, and I am excited to integrate this into my Araling Panlipunan subjects,” Ms. Hazel Albaño, Master Teacher I, said after the training workshop.

Speakers of the training workshop are the CSPC-College of Arts and Sciences faculty with extensive public speaking training: Dr. April Luzon, Dr. Noel Volante, Dr. Marlon Pontillas, Ms. Audrey Millicent Hugo, and Ms. Gigi Severo.

The Speak up training of the College of Arts and Sciences will be conducted in other public secondary schools in the division of Camarines Sur before the year ends.

“As early as now, we are reaching out to other [public secondary] schools who need this training. Kailangan mas ma-empower natin ang voices ng mga teachers. Indeed, public speaking is a skill everyone must master,” Daisylen Alano, the CAS’extension coordinator, emphasized.

“I am very delighted and never expected the turnout of this training. I am excited how the results of this [Speak up training] will help the Department of Education in improving the quality of education of every school,” Dr. April Luzon, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said after the three-day activity. Alongside instruction, higher education institution instructors and professors should engage in research, extension, and production as part of their mandates.