Thursday, March 8, 2012

March - Featured Public Speaker: Juan D'Arce

Who are you? I am Juan D’Arce.
What do you do? I am a Placement Director at Special Counsel which is a part of ADECCO. 

How long have you been speaking professionally? Over 15 years. 

Do you do workshops? If so, what kind? Yes. I do leadership workshops, community interaction and student empowerment for parents and students. 

Tell us the story about how you started: I have always been very involved in volunteering, community service, politics and education. Early in my career I realized that the best advocate for a cause I believe in was me. I became the messenger for the changes I wanted to see and realized that I could share my skills, experience and wisdom with the community. 

What do you speak about? I speak about community related topics, political issues, employment, lots of educational topics related to empowering students/parents and within organizations. 

Who are your favorite speakers to watch? Pat Riley and Ronald Reagan 

What’s the best speech you’ve ever heard? “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

What advice do you have for new (or very nervous) speakers? Focus on your message, the points you are going to hit, and to always remember that unless you panic no one will know you made a mistake. 

What’s the most fun gig you’ve ever had? The best speaking engagement I have had would be actually three. 
I was interviewed on Spanish television for a candidate I was supporting. When I finished speaking the reporter asked why I was not the candidate running. The other was when I spoke at the commencement event for an 8th grade class event. I felt great to speak about accomplishments and memories that I know meant so much for all present. I love to speak to school age students, especially the elementary school students. They are so cute and insightful. 

What’s the most challenging area of public speaking for you? And how do you deal with it? The most challenging part about public speaking to me is the “Q&A” session when you have hecklers or people who are just difficult. The way I deal with it is to focus on the positive, address the question in a respectful fashion and if the question is way off base I just spin my answer to what the topic is to not insult anyone or the person asking that wants to create friction. 

Anything else that you would like to share. 
If you are worried about public speaking, just remember that when you are done it is done and most people will be happy you took the time to speak. Stay calm and be positive.

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