If you ever wondered why your voice sounded like it is, or whether you are pronouncing your vowels and constants correctly, or need to speak clearly in front of a large audience with confidence, then a workshop on The Art of Speaking, conducted by The Learning Curve is a place to be.
Meet Mumbai-based Dr. Manju Sampat, the proprietor of The Learning Curve, a Ph.D. in English Literature from Mumbai University, who has spent several years of working in the airline industry. She has also worked as a trainer for the call centre industry and has done the train-the-trainer programme from TELCO. She has put together this course of “Effective Verbal Communication”, together with some of the most eminent trainers in this field.
How did it all begin?
The Learning Curve is a Verbal Communication institute that handles all aspects of – The Art of Speaking. “We started these workshops in December 2005, where I was originally asked to conduct some of these modules by Mumbai University. I worked for many months to formulate these modules and to put together a formidable faculty. Eventually, I started on my own,” mentions Dr. Sampat.
She started with 23 students and with subsequent batches the numbers have always been within 20 as she finds it to be an optimum number for training. Till date, the Learning Curve has catered to more than a thousand students from higher schools, colleges and professionals.
Who are the participants?
Dr. Sampat adds, “Most of our participants are either young professionals or college students, or anyone who wishes to improve his or her speech delivery skills.” So people who need to do presentations at work, need to speak to their teams in an office or have to meet clients or students who participate in debates and group discussions/interviews, are keen on pursuing this course.
Who are the faculty members?
The faculty comprises of eminent people like Tom Alter, the well-known actor, who teaches a module on “Speaking Naturally”. There is also Jerry Pinto, who is a writer, journalist and poet. He teaches Public Speaking. With his impeccable speech and vocabulary, he keeps the participants on their toes and ensures that they are able to shed their inhibitions and speak freely.
The Learning Curve also has Asif Ali Beg, a theatre actor and voice over artist, who conducts Voice Modulation through several interactive exercises that helps the participants to discover their voice and be able to speak loudly and clearly.
Theatre and film artist, Denzil Smith will remind you of Professor Henry Higgins from the 1964 classic ‘My Fair Lady’ who has taught diction. This is where participants can work on coming out of their Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) and speak the words and sentences with clarity.
“There are three corporate trainers as well, who work on Communication skills and when needed Mr. Sunil Shanbag, an eminent theatre director and Rasna Bahl, a life style trainer, also teach for us. Since I have a Ph.D in English Literature, I work on the module on Pronunciation and do the Power Speech module as well,” says Dr. Sampat.
The Student and the Speaker
In totality, these workshops also stress on developing an individual’s personality, as a large part of this comes through in the way a person speaks. One of the main aspects that The Learning Curve stresses on is that people should be themselves. She further adds, “they can hone their speaking skills through our course, but they need to speak naturally and clearly and not imitate anyone.”
This course helps participants to become aware of mistakes they make when speaking, which are easy to correct and of which they were unaware of earlier. This workshop also aims them to be more confident speakers. Since they are exposed to very good trainers and speakers, they pick up many points through listening to a good speaker. They certainly learn what to avoid, and what to do to make themselves more effective speakers. Many of their pertinent questions are also addressed.
Dr. Sampat regularly conducts The Art of Speaking programs eight to ten times in a year at St. Andrew’s College in Bandra and these are usually weekend classes so that working professionals and students can easily attend the course. This course would cost is Rs. 3000 for seven sessions that are spread across three weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Advanced courses are also conducted on special requests from participants.
You can visit their website: thelearningcurve2.weebly.com to find out more. You can write to Dr. Sampat at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can be contacted on 9819161354. You can also follow their link http://thelearningcurve.mumbai.googlepages.com.
If you liked ‘The Art of Speaking’, then you may also like to read ‘The Art of Speaking‘ as well.
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