“We’ve had awesome runs of this class at UCLA Extension,” says DeBorah B. Pryor, the communications specialist who designed the curriculum for the class she began teaching at the university a year ago. “But everyone can’t make the trip over to Westwood, and many people who need a class like this can’t get to it. This is why I’m bringing it to the valley.” she continues.
The 6-session class, which will take at an undisclosed location in Glendale each Wednesday starting October 2 through November 6, is fun, challenging and effectively hits it mark; and Pryor is most proud that those who attend, some traveling from great distances (two students recently traveled from Taiwan!), seem to quickly lose their feelings of shyness and insecurity as they start to grow close to the diverse group of people over the 6-week period and get excited about the exercises.
“[The class] was an absolute joy to come to…it was evident that each assignment would lead to something wonderful in the end. I began to feel more empowered, less intimidated to speak,” says Scharla, a dietician whose job places her around a variety of personalities and she had problems speaking up for herself at work. She found herself so excited by the homework assignments, which were not designed for you to sit, read, and report; but instead gave you a call-to-action to implement as you went through your day and then return and share the, sometimes hilarious, results with the class.
James, a college freshman, took the class to learn how to be more outgoing. Since leaving home, he no longer knew how to initiate and maintain a conversation with his younger brother when he called home. Extremely shy and quiet at first, at the end of class he voluntarily stood up and sang a song to his shocked classmates and crying teacher.
“I really do look forward to continuing to use some of the things that I’ve learned in this class to help me not only become a better, confident speaker, but also aid me in the journey of self-discovery,” he says, smiling shyly during the standing ovation he received from his classmates.
Pryor, who once struggled with low self-esteem, shyness, and a lack of confidence, says that the class has attracted attorneys, production staff, administrators, entrepreneurs and college students. She designed first workshop in 1993 while working in a temp position at a large child welfare agency and successfully convinced the CEO to sponsor the entire staff to attend. Proud of how the employees were responding, said CEO attended herself and ultimately, referred others. DeBorah started out as a receptionist, and has since worked in a variety of executive positions in the corporate, private and nonprofit sectors; as well as in the entertainment industry. She is also an established writer who has traveled the world.
She has taught her workshops since 2005 in community theatres, customized by request for private organizations, and utilized rental spaces throughout Los Angeles. She is now a certified small business in the State of California. In 2011, she was invited to teach at UCLA Extension; with her first class being the original 1-day workshop, “Public Speaking for the Private Person,” which is also available on CD.
For more information and online registration for “How to Talk to Anybody” visit www.dpryorpresents.com under “What’s New” or call 818-745-0395. The last day to register is Sunday, September 29. No walk ins or admission at the door.
DeBorah B. Pryor
THE ART OF COMMUNICATION
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