After in mid-June they tested various teaching techniques and learned how to better capture future students' attention and how to teach journalism in an accessible and interactive way, SAJ trainers met for the second stage of the training of trainers. The event was held between July 6 and 9 in Targu Neamt, Romania. Trainers worked along with Cristina Lupu, program director at the Independent Journalism Center from Bucharest, and Vlad Ajder, actor and director from Galati, Romania.
The second part of the training focused mainly on learning and testing various presentation techniques. Trainers learned how to start a presentation memorably, how to structure their speech so as to keep students "connected" to the topic, and how to use their voice and non-verbal language.
The coach of the training, Cristina Lupu, presented trainers with some techniques for controlling emotions. "Use various games or interactive exercises. Ask questions and try to find out what expectations students have. You could also tell them short stories from your professional experience. The most important thing is to keep visual contact with each student," the expert suggested.
How to speak clearly and say everything we want in a very short time? For this exercise each trainer had 60 seconds, during which he or she had to describe the course they are teaching and to say what they wanted to change or improve in it. After this test, trainers understood how important it is to structure a speech and learned how to emphasize important words and avoid the ones that are inessential: "Speak clearly and to the point. Use various audio and video techniques for your presentations. And don't forget about feedback."
And since the quality of speech is extremely important in any presentation, the last day of the training was dedicated to this aspect. Trainers went through a real trial by fire, being tested on diction, breathing and ... attitude. Actor and director Vlad Ajder showed them various practical exercises and taught them to correctly pronounce words, syllables and sounds. "What you say is not the only thing that matters; the way you say it matters, too," he said.
At the end of the training, participants discussed about the findings of the report on the assessment of the School of Advanced Journalism curriculum, which was produced at the end of 2016 by Laura Kelly, an expert in journalism education from the United States. Together with the School's staff, they discussed every suggestion made by the author of the report, so as to see how applicable they are to the realities of the Republic of Moldova, and came up with their own recommendations for improving the study process. So the school year 2017-2018 can have a strong start at the SAJ!