My name is Barnabas Akinrinola. I am a public speaker, a compere, a writer and a blogger.
Well, I started public speaking in my secondary school (Gomal Baptist College, Ogbomoso). Apart from writing, one thing that I fancied was public speaking. I was a prefect and a class captain in secondary school and there were occasions when I needed to address students.
Let’s dig a little deeper
Public speaking in the University of Ibadan was wholly on another level. It was totally different from what I had learned in secondary school. So, I had to unlearn a lot of the things that I had learned about the practice of public speaking in secondary school and allow new things to take root in me. In my second year in the University of Ibadan, I joined the Faculty of Law Literary and Debating Society. It was quite difficult for me to adapt to the public speaking style I met on ground. I was better in oratory with my excellent use of flowery or witty statements. Debating, as I came to learn, was more straight-to-the-point with more logic and less ‘rhymes’. Even though I found it pretty difficult, I kept at it. I wrote speeches– shitty and hilarious as they were– when we were asked to and participated in the debate tournament organized for rookies in my Faculty LnD until I crashed out.
At a very young age, I was exposed to the magic of written and spoken words. You can change the world through public speaking. I learnt that very early. So, when it comes to public speaking, secondary school was a training ground for me.
One thing that helped me a great deal was my unashamed drive to be better. This pushed me to seek help even from my own classmates who I knew were better than me. I was not discouraged when my speeches only made people laugh and laugh without much content. I kept writing speeches and kept reading aloud the things that I had written. I could also be walking on the road and stop to read out the words I saw on a signpost, applying the correct intonations and voice modulations. I saw YouTube videos too, and movies, taking note of how characters spoke when they spoke to a large audience.
Slowly, I got better. I am still getting better. Today, I am a blogger and an events compere and I am great at both because of the things I learned and continue to learn through public speaking.
Think about this for a moment
Life has never been one-sided. I debate because debating opens my eyes to the many sides of life and helps in communicating these different sides to people. Public speaking generally has taught and shown me the power of words, the wonders of delivery, the strength in confidence and the importance of preparation for anything.
Winner, BSFUI Witty & Skilful Oratory Competition (2016).
First Runner-Up BSF National Witty & Skilful Oratory Competition (2016).
Winner, Sigma Tertiary Essay Competition (2018).
General Secretary, Lord Tedder Hall Literary and Debating Society (2017/2018).
Vice President, Lord Tedder Hall Literary and Debating Society (2018/2019).
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I would love to know your thoughts. Why do you debate?