YuSU student is a semifinalist of the League of Lecturers All-Russian Contest

Our student Anna Svalova has become a semi-finalist of the all-Russian contest "League of Lecturers", which is held for the third time by the "Znanie" community. We asked Anna about her participation in the contest, her study at YSU and how to develop neural connections, and recorded a podcast with her.  

- Anna, how are you doing? How was the contest for you?

- Wonderful! In particular, namely because I had a chance to be part of the "League of Lecturers". Participation in the contest was unexpected, even accidental. Like perhaps all the most pleasant things in life, it was spontaneous. For this, I am grateful to my professional activity - my speech studio. One of my cadets (that is what I call participants in an educational course) works at the Center for Regional Management and does outreach for events like the League of Lecturers. And she proposed that I become the face of the campaign to publicize this contest. I wondered what kind of contest it was, because it was the first time I had heard of it. As a result, I decided to participate, made it through five stages, and made it to the semi-finals.

- Can you tell us more about the stages of the contest?

- First you had to fill out a questionnaire. Then I recorded a video presentation. That was the first stage. Ten thousand people went through it. The second stage was a recording of the lecture and presenting it to the jury. In the quarterfinals there were already about 800 people. A significant number of participants dropped out. The quarterfinals were held online. I overcame it successfully. There was also a regional stage. It was held in Surgut. We performed in front of an audience that consisted of representatives of universities, authorities, and media people. Elena Shumakova, Vladimir Bebekh, and Vitaly Malykhin, a representative of the "Znanie" community in Yugra, evaluated the contestants' performances. The semi-finals were held in Yekaterinburg. That is where the ground of the community in the Ural Federal District is located. 35 participants made it to the semi-finals.

- Was the level of preparation of the participants different?

- This time the organizers decided to combine a school lecturer league and a league for experienced lecturers. In the semifinals, we performed with schoolchildren. I saw these young eyes; I was able to communicate with several of them. It was very pleasant, because when you see such remarkable young people, you feel much better about our future. High school students who give lectures themselves. It is very cool! Of course, in the 10th grade, I did many things, from drama studios and KVN to social studies, but I have never lectured. And I'm very happy that now is the time when it's possible.

- You have performed both online and live. Compare the feelings.

- I am more used to performing in front of a live audience, although I often teach online courses now. A live audience is always a different vibe.

- What were the topics of your speeches?

- I took the topic that was closest to me, and it is related to the Russian language, oratory, and purity of speech. I have always been interested in the Russian language, a part of culture that needs to be preserved, as we know it. At some point in time, I was fascinated by it. I wanted, in addition to just show up as a lecturer, to be useful, so that it would have an applied value, so that everyone who listened to me could use this information in his or her live. In my opinion, it worked. The first lecture was on the subject of clear, articulate speech, where I gave the necessary exercises. The second lecture was about the voice. I showed the exercises to the jury in Surgut. And I was very pleased that they paid attention to it and followed me, got involved in the process. At the regional stage, I gave a lecture about the structure of a performance, how to prepare for the performance, and what techniques to use to relieve fear and anxiety, and how not to be afraid to go to an audience. In the semifinals, I talked about verbal improvisation as a speaker's magic wand. I am pleased that I chose a popular topic. It was not easy in terms of passing the stages because I think there were more speakers on oratory art and public speaking than others were. However, it is a challenge, and I love a challenge. I like it when there is a moment of overcoming myself. As a result, I got not only the status of a semi-finalist in the competition, but also the status of a lecturer of the all-Russian community "Znanie".


- How can you develop this skill?

- Verbal improvisation can be developed using different techniques. Game of associations, charades, for example, to convey the meaning of some word without naming it. The association game I practice with my cadets - we stand in a circle and take a ball. I give a topic, throw it to a player, he says an association to that word and throws it to another player, and so on. The most important thing is not to hold up the ball. Each time we make the rules more difficult. There is also a method - to write out 5-10 words on cards that are completely unrelated to each other. And try to make a story out of these random words. The game is suitable for training and for a friendly company, to non-trivialize the time. I would say that people make up such tall tales, which may be an excellent basis for a story by Kir Bulychev. This is about the development of verbal improvisation in play form. And as for non-fiction, you can take any book, preferably non-fiction: non-fiction, journalism, and science. If it is well-written business literature, as a rule, the main ideas and theses are highlighted in each chapter. And you have to study the book in 20 minutes and try to highlight the main points. First, you have to study the content thoroughly, because we form the structure right away. Then by flipping through and focusing on the theses, we try to fill in its content. After 20 minutes, we should try to retell the content of the book to our companion. I emphasize that this is not a way of reading. It is a way of learning to see and feel at once, what the structure is. Because it is about the same in a movie script as it is in a speech: it begins with a plot, continues, goes into a climax, and has a denouement.

- How do you learn not to be afraid to speak in public?

- I like the "Iron Man" exercise. It is a very effective tool to get rid of fear if you already feel it in your body. You have to try to tense every muscle in your body for 30 seconds before you go on stage. Then you exhale deeply and the tension stays backstage.

- You are currently studying at YuSU. What kind of education are you getting here and why did you choose our university?

- In addition to journalism, of course, it was important for me to get a psycho-pedagogical education. Speaking about knowledge and skills, which I have, they are more likely technical, acquired on own experience, on experience of long work in television journalism, on performances - I was both the presenter and the speaker at various actions, which at times organized myself. But I had no psychological or pedagogical basis. And that's what always attracted me. I was eager to know what was going on with the person who was now getting ready to go on stage. It is clear that I have learned to cope with myself, I have mastered the techniques of self-regulation, but it was on the instinct, and secondly, thanks to books. And I realized that I wanted to master this base in a professional sense, and it certainly would not be odd. That's why I'm here. And I'm very interested because I'm an atypical student. I can also boast that I lecture not only for YSU students, but for faculty as well. I enjoy feeling like both a student and a lecturer at the same time. It's a cool feeling. There's just the type of person who can't do without new information, and will always find a source. In that case, it is better when that source is professional lecturers, professors, great teachers that YuSU has. Now I can definitely say so. Even though it is a part-time faculty, nevertheless it requires from us much, nobody makes indulgences to me. And I'm grateful for that, too. Because it's a challenge, too.

- Your motto: "Speaking is easy". How do you learn to do that?

- There are many exercises. Professional actors and theater students do the ones I give in my speech studio. The speech apparatus is the lips, and the cheeks, and the tongue, everything that is involved in sound producing. Perhaps the most important thing is to speak, to make an effort, even when you don't want to speak. Every time we talk to people, we do a lot for the skill of public speaking and for the skill of effective communication in general. And that's why I chose the slogan "It's easy to speak". You can learn that just by giving yourself the work, first of all, to master the technique of speaking, and secondly, by practicing it every day in company. Make an effort and be sure to praise yourself for it. It will already be a valuable step on the way to "Speaking is easy".

- What books can you recommend?

- "The Mastery of Broadcast Speech." One of the authors of this book is a very good teacher, Svetlana Kornelievna Makarova, who taught a whole galaxy of famous journalists, including speech teacher Vera Kotsyuba, from whom I learned about this book. I can recommend any books devoted to broadcast speeches by Nina Zvereva, the creator of the training center. In any case, books should be read. Well-written fiction will have an impact on the way we communicate. Because it forms new neural connections, our vocabulary, and the way we build our speech. All in all, I say, read, friends!


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