Never Fear a Camera!

Never Fear a Camera! This is the basic lesson a group of spokespeople from Libyan NGOs learnt during a recent three-day workshop. A few rules and a lot of practice was what this DWA training had to offer. And the results were remarkable. „I learned the right way to speak“, said Abd Alrahman Alsawaie, „and how to answer questions.” For nearly all the participants, learning how to speak consisted mainly in overcoming camera-shyness and liberating themselves from notes. „I have gained an ability to choose the right words and how to use body language in an interview“, assures Sara Moghrabi, who is also a radio announcer. „That is something very important for me and for my job.”

To think deeply about your message, to word it with care, and to present it in a relaxed and natural way – these are the three basic elements of successful oral communication. Confronted with the video recording of their first statement exercise – executed with no preparation – participants immediately discern defects of speech, elocution, or position. Information about communicating with the press and about the structure and dynamics of an interview gave the participants the background information they needed to prepare well thought-out statements that conveyed the core messages of their organizations.

When participants are all committed to important work, be it the struggle against domestic violence, creating the legal framework for a new constitution, or the rights of disabled people, and all believe in the importance of transmitting their messages to a large audience through the media, then a good atmosphere is guaranteed in a workshop. The exercises, including amusing ones for articulation and elocution, become fun and participants progress rapidly. After all, to be yourself, natural, well-prepared and confident is all you really need. These participants from Libya caught on very quickly. “Although the time was limited, it was great fun,” commented Rinad al Sinani at the end of the workshop. “And if I had another chance to attend the course I would never hesitate.”