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Orland Park Public Library Presents "Public Speaking - A Life Skill"

Owens Media, Inc. To Present Free Seminar September 30


ORLAND PARK, IL (September 19, 2023) – Marjorie Owens-Klotz has been touting the benefits of public speaking skills for decades. She has served as a public speaking professor and coach for more than 30 years and teaches speech fundamentals and marketing at Chicago area colleges and universities.

Marjorie Owens-Klotz

The Orland Park Public Library will host “Public Speaking – A Life Skill,” on Saturday, September 30 at 10 a.m. The free seminar is presented by Owens Media, Inc.


“On the first day of each of my college classes, I keep a straight face as I tell the kids, ‘This is the most important class you will ever take.’ I can see the confusion on their faces and some students will chuckle. I then explain that public speaking is a life skill that applies to every single occupation.”


“Public speaking applies to everything we do,” Owens-Klotz emphasized. “It’s part of our daily lives as students, teachers, adults, customers, first responders, family members, business people, store clerks, service people – everyone. It’s not just presentations - it’s one on one communication too.”


Owens-Klotz reported that the September 30th presentation will include general applications that everyone can use. “Public speaking is universal – it’s a skill that can be developed and practiced.”


“Being able to communicate well is one of the top hiring skills that employers look for. It helps with customer service and working with the public. It applies to job interviews and school presentations. And, most importantly, it helps with self confidence. If you’re well prepared, you will be more confident,” Owens-Klotz said.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Public speaking anxiety affects 40% of the population.” Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking.


“Jerry Seinfeld has said people’s number one fear is public speaking and number two is death,” Owens-Klotz said. “He said if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. I obviously disagree,” she said smiling.

Owens-Klotz has taught public speaking for more than 20 years.

“Public speaking anxiety is real,” Owens-Klotz said. “I see it every semester in every one of my classes,” she added, noting there are ways to reduce the angst.


“People are afraid of being judged. They don’t like to be looked at. They worry that their audience is not listening. There are many reasons for public speaking anxiety,” Owens-Klotz said, adding, “There also many ways to try to overcome these fears.”


“Public speaking is not limited to business and academics – it’s a part of life – celebrating special occasions where people are asked to speak at retirements, weddings, funerals and other gatherings,” she said.


Owens-Klotz said that the accepted protocol for public speaking is to have a conversation with your audience and to not read to them.


“The old standard was to write a verbatim manuscript and read it to the audience. Current protocols call for extemporaneous delivery – well prepared, well rehearsed and conversational," Owens-Klotz said, adding, “An essay is not a speech and a speech is not an essay.”


“It’s not story time; however, telling and not reading stories is a big part of public speaking,” Owens-Klotz said. “We’ve been listening to stories since we were babies – people are drawn to stories and sharing them is a huge part of public speaking.”


A marketing and public relations veteran, Owens-Klotz is the president of Owens Media, Inc., a public relations, marketing, and professional development company. In 2019, she retired from overseeing the public relations for the Village of Orland Park for more than 30 years. She holds a master of arts degree in communication studies from Governors State University with an undergraduate degree in media-communications.


“We are looking forward to showing people the many benefits of developing their public speaking skills,” Owens-Klotz said. “This seminar will be very informative for everyone – from those just beginning their careers on through to retirees who may have some wisdom to share.”


Pre-registration is required for the September 30th presentation and is available at https://orlandpark.librarycalendar.com/event/public-speaking-lifelong-skill


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