One very effective way of improving public speaking and learning Islam at the same time is to join a public speaking class or a group which discusses knowledge on Islam. Such group must be able to give each participant the opportunity to deliver a topic on Islam. In this way, every participant not only gains knowledge of Islam but also learns how to speak in public and thus effectively share said very important knowledge to others for the pleasure of Allah (S.W.T.).
The Wisdom International School for Higher Education Studies (WISHES) welcomes every interested individual (including non-Muslim) who wants to learn Public Speaking and Islam to join its Wisdom International Islamic Learning Program. This particular module, Wisdom Learning Module 9 on Effective Public Speaking and Success teaches each student or participant to learn the principles, methodologies and techniques of Public Speaking and at the same time trains them to practice such principles or knowledge of Public Speaking through the Wisdom Forum, where everyone will be required or given the chance to read, deliver, discuss and make reactions on interesting topics on Islam, that enlighten every sensible individual to practice Islam and thus attains success, especially ultimate success in the life Hereafter.
In this module, every student is required to organize weekly Islamic public lectures, which will be called Wisdom Forum. To distinguish a forum from another organized forum in a given place, one can add a name to the Wisdom Forum by the particular place or a city where it is organized. Example, a forum organized in Riyadh can be called Wisdom Forum in Riyadh (Men or Female Section). Male student will invite 10-40 male participants and female student will invite 10-40 women participants to organize a forum and meet once a week during week-ends for two hours at a certain time and meeting place. The meeting place must be conducted preferably in a lecture hall or a room spacious enough with a podium. He/she will distribute and divide (one at a time) copies of the Principles, Methods and Techniques of Public Speaking in Islam as well as selected enlightening articles, essays, khutbahs (especially Friday Sermons by the respected Imaams of the two Holy Mosques) and excerpts from the books on Islam (taken from any of the Wisdom International Islamic Learning Modules) to participants for presentation during the forum sessions.
There should be one moderator every session. One of the members of the Forum will read the Qur’an or recite invocation prior to the start of the forum. At least two of them will act as the presenters or public speakers (15-25 minutes each). After each lecture, the moderator will ask one or two members to summarize the lecture. Then, he/she will ask other members of the group (at least two) to make reactions and/or comments on the contents of the lecture as to its importance and significance to all Muslims and what actions they (the Wisdom Forum participants) need to do to improve their eeman (faith) and personality development and be able to contribute to the welfare of their society – all for the sole pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Then, there will be questions and answers. After learning the Principles, Methods and Techniques of Public Speaking in Islam, selected enlightening articles, essays, khutbahs (Friday sermons), and/or well-written speeches on Islam will be read during the rest of the forum sessions. Before the end of the semester, there will be at least three sessions (final forum presentations) where each participant will act as a professional speaker who will be able to present orally, with confidence and mastery of subject matter any of the Islamic topics given in the Wisdom Forum course. Each speaker will be given 30-35 minutes to talk in a podium, preferably with a microphone. He/she will be evaluated by the group in terms of the following criteria:
1. Content and organization of the speech (importance and relevance/significance, use of quotations from the Qur’an and authentic ahadith) -- 20%
2. Presentation and delivery (use of visual aid, nice posture, proper gesture, lively disposition, nice voice modulation, and speaks loud enough for all audience to hear) -- 20%
3. Self-confidence (without funny mannerism, free from trembling voice or acute uneasiness or apprehension and a nervous moment, has audience presence or actively involves the audience in the form of questions and answers or gets positive reactions from the audience) -- 20%
4. Personality appearance (well-groom according to Islamic morals, occasionally gives smile, uses appropriate Islamic expressions, tactfulness in answering questions, etc.) -- 20%
5. Mastery of subject matter (ability to present the lecture without notes or minimal looking at notes and skill to answer questions correctly with proofs from the Qur’an and authentic ahadith) -- 20%
Each participant will act as an evaluator and will give the evaluation sheet to each speaker so that each will know his/her strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation serves as a constructive means to help improve the public speaking skills of every member of the Wisdom Forum.
Towards the end of the Forum session (for the semester), the group will conduct an Islamic lecture for the general public (at least 50 men or 50 women only, no intermixing between men and women). The group will have to successfully organize themselves to invite the general public for (2-3 hours) Islamic public lectures. The best speakers (3-4) among the members will serve as the speakers or resource persons. Each speaker will be given 30-35 minutes to speak on the same topic he/she presented during the final Forum presentation session. As much as possible, Wisdom Participant/Student will try to be among the speakers or act as the forum moderator for the public lecture.
Wisdom Participant/Student as the organizer and leader of the Wisdom Forum will have to see to it that:
1. Only the reading materials (selected enlightening articles and essays on Islam, which are based on the Qur’an and Sunnah) provided for the Wisdom Forum subject will be used as speeches or bases for lectures and discussions during Wisdom Forum sessions. If the group members wish to learn more topics on Islam for a given semester or continue the Forum to make it a regular weekly program, they are free to use any of the articles, essays or parts of the booklets and books in any of the WISDOM International Islamic Learning Modules.
2. Every member of the Forum will be given opportunity to act as a moderator; as a Qur’an reader or one who leads the invocation prior to the start of the forum; as a speaker; as one who summarizes, gives comments and suggestions on what must be done for personal and social development purpose; and one who asks questions.
3. He/She will have to act as the forum moderator and a lecturer/speaker for at least two meetings.
4. He/She will invite once in a while a Muslim scholar, leader, professor, or a da’ee (one who calls people to Islam) to speak any of the given learning materials for the course.
5. The number of the Forum participants will increase and not just decrease because of his/her failure to organize and motivate every member of the group to be interested in the forum.
6. He/She will honestly administer the Wisdom Forum Questionnaire or evaluation sheet to the participants to measure the success or failure of the particular Forum before the final examination.
7. Record (with the use of a tape recorder) his actual presentation as a moderator and as a speaker as well as one of the questions and answers session during any of the Forum meetings. Send a copy of the tape (labeled with his/her name) to the Wisdom Program Director.
8. He/She will submit a report of the Wisdom Forum composition or membership, weekly activities and achievements (community projects as the result of the Forum) before the end of the semester.
9. The organized Wisdom Forum will continue as a weekly community forum on Islam even if the semester ends. If possible, it will have its branches in other parts of the community. (Commitment on the part of the members to continue it should be reflected in the questionnaire.)
10. Inform the members of the Wisdom Forum that the Wisdom International School for Higher Education Studies (WISHES) will issue certificates at a cost (cost of certificate and mailing) to interested participants who have attended at least 90% or maximum two absences of the sessions after the end of the semester.
The student will then be evaluated on the basis of his/her reports of the above given conditions (including the questionnaire), which is expected to be correct (based on amanah or trust).
Note that where there are more students (taking Wisdom Forum subject) in a city or area, the students (according to sex) can organize as one group (one group for men or for women) but they must see to it that opportunity for leadership/responsibility and public speaking must be shared between and among themselves
As a service to humanity, the Wisdom International School for Higher Education Studies (WISHES) gives permission to all (including non-Muslims) who want to learn Public Speaking and Islam to organize Wisdom Forum in their own respective places or areas on three conditions: 1) to make use of the learning materials on Public Speaking as is (no changes to be done); 2) to make use of the Islamic materials from its own learning electronic books as topics for Public Speaking or take only from Islamic websites or sources that contain Islam according to the Qur‘an and the Sunnah; and 3) inform WISHES management for registration/record purposes.
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