Not a trained teacher, but one who is passionate about teaching. It is a ‘love’, not a ‘like’. First degree, BA in Communications with Lang and Lit, UWI Mona, solidified the natural communication instincts. I was a television news anchor at 18, (the youngest) and had done TV and radio programmes while in school for the then Educational Broadcasting Service (EBS), now PBCJ. I had excellent elocution training from Bobby Ghisays and Leonie Forbes, and was inspired by Fae Ellington, who I told at 16 “I want to be like you.”
I have taught Public Speaking or communications-related courses at the University of the West Indies (UWI), University College of the Caribbean (UCC), International University of the Caribbean (IUC), Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI), have trained radio presenters (news anchors, sportscasters & prog hosts), and trained pageant participants and artistes, to ace interviews and presentations.
Having studied Spanish in high school and at UWI, which included a short stint at La Universidad Autónomo de Puebla in Mexico, and having lived in Spain, I had enough Spanish under my belt to teach Basic Spanish at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). It also equipped me to help first year students of Spanish at UWI and a few CSEC students. While at UWI, I won the Chilean Embassy’s Andres Bello Prize for Poetry in Spanish.
As a Public Speaking coach, I help corporate executives prepare for presentations, help entertainers & sports personnel to face the media, and help individuals prepare for job interviews. In Europe and North Africa (went to broadcasting school in Holland and worked with NGO in Spain and Tunisia) I taught English as a second language to clients including doctors preparing for overseas medical conferences, singers wanting to sing in English, and people who just wanted to improve their written and spoken English. Flattening accents and anglifying pronunciations of non-native speakers of English, is one of my strengths.
In my job as Language and Cross Culture Coordinator with Peace Corps Jamaica, I trained American volunteers so they had a handle on Jamaican language and culture and could navigate the transportation, shopping, education and medical systems and fully function in deep rural communities.
What makes me successful as a Public Speaking Coach? I am non-threatening, so clients are not afraid to make mistakes and quickly develop the confidence to speak. My training in Linguistics is a boon, as it enables me to dissect speech sounds and teach clients how to utilize their organs of articulation to correct speech issues e.g. my Indian client who pronounced ‘very’ as ‘werry’ and could not hear the difference. My skills as a performer help to pull it all together, because public speaking is a performance and speakers must develop confidence and mastery to be effective.
One of my passions is teaching adult literacy and remedial English. I taught as a volunteer through Operation Restoration (Trench Town), Mary’s Child (a home for teenage mothers run by Missionaries for the Poor) and through a CSJP Programe for young offenders run by ACTS Consultancy. Oh what joy, when the light goes on in someone’s head – increased confidence because “I can read!”
I looove teaching …. Born to teach, I tell ya.
About the Author
Joan Andrea Hutchinson is a Public Speaking Coach, Communications Specialist, Remedial Language Teacher, English Language Guru, Writer, Storyteller, Actress, Motivational Speaker and Teacher. She is also a producer and presenter for radio and TV. She has been writing poems and stories in the Jamaican Patois dialect for more than 20 years.
Photo Source – Deposit Photos