Power of public speak­ing


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Street Watch -

MAN­NING THE power of public speak­ing trans­formed De­siree Holz into “a dif­fer­ent per­son”.

Man­ning res­i­dent Ms Holz said she lived with de­pres­sion for most of her life but had been “in re­cov­ery” for three years.

“I was di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety at 22, although I’d had it since I was about 12,” she said.

The 29-year-old psy­chol­ogy stu­dent said she joined public speak­ing group Toast­mas­ters in Jan­uary this year to build pro­fes­sional con­nec­tions.

“At univer­sity, we do lots of speeches and that was one of the rea­sons I joined, be­cause I did a speech about three years ago and I just froze,” Ms Holz said.

“I can see the con­trast of what I used to be and it’s like look­ing at a dif­fer­ent per­son, but that’s how de­pres­sion af­fects your con­fi­dence and self worth.”

The Plain Speak­ers, a group of 15 peo­ple “from all walks of life”, meet in East Perth each week to present struc­tured pre­sen­ta­tions and im­prove their public speak­ing skills.

Ms Holz shared her jour­ney at the an­nual Men in Black Ball in June to raise aware­ness of men’s men­tal health.

“Go­ing from not be­ing able to speak in front of a class to speak­ing in front of 300 peo­ple shows how much I’ve grown,” she said.

Ms Holz said public speak­ing and her study had helped her men­tal health.

“Hav­ing knowl­edge of psy­chol­ogy has been the corner­stone to my re­cov­ery in un­der­stand­ing the ba­sics of de­pres­sion,” she said.

Ms Holz said she had also judged the Speak with Con­fi­dence awards, a pri­mary school public speak­ing com­pe­ti­tion held by the City of South Perth in June this year.

“It helps you to de­velop your con­fi­dence with speak­ing to peo­ple, your self worth and lead­er­ship skills.”

De­siree Holz at a Plain Speak­ers meet­ing in East Perth. She joined the group to build pro­fes­sional con­nec­tions and con­fi­dence.

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