Six Allen County-Scottsville High School sophomores participated in a day of training as part of their participation in the Pride Masters Leadership Development Program. Students Lexi Marr, Abi Penick, Zena-Kole Pinson, Tori Skipworth, Damon Stone, and Brinley Swift spent Tuesday learning about conversation skills, public speaking, and personal image in the first of two fall leadership training exercises.
The day’s activities introduced the Class of 2020 Pride Masters to the first of the basic skills that the program will teach to the sophomores this year. Since the Pride Masters will interaction with leaders and individuals from the community, understanding the art of conversation was the first topic covered.
“When you are comfortable talking to people it really shows others that you can manage a lot of different things in life,” explained Dr. Dana Cosby, Assistant Professor of Management at Western Kentucky University. “The art of conversation is a necessary skill for every part of life. Conversation is necessary to build relationships. You get to know people when you have one-on-one conversations with them. Conversations help you find out information, help you solve problems, and for you all as students, conversations help you make good first impressions.”
Pride Masters also learned about public speaking skills. Brittany Fisher, the executive director of the Dugas Community Park, outlined the different types of speeches leaders are tasked with from time to time. Fisher’s presentation also challenged the students with a hands-on activity in which the Pride Masters were given 10 minutes to construct a project---and then asked to demonstrate to their peers the process for making their creation.
The final session of the day centered on personal and professional image. John Mark Francis, Assistant Director of Recruitment at Western Kentucky University, pointed out that one’s image is shaped by not just how they carry themselves or what they wear but how they conduct themselves in both public and private sectors. Francis challenged the students to look ahead at where they desired to be in 15 years and begin now with that end in mind. Francis also reminded the Pridemasters of their leadership role and reminded the students that being a leader takes many forms.
“Now you have a role,” Francis said. “By you having this position in the school district, people will be looking to you. Understand that responsibility, use that information, and be a leader in the group. Some of the best leaders I have ever known or worked with in my professional life were not the people that were the loudest. They were the people that had a steady leadership ability, confidence in their ability, and ones that constantly sought outside information about the decisions they were going to make.”
The sophomore Pride Masters will take part in a second day training in November at which time they will have an opportunity to put the skills learned today to work as well as have sessions on etiquette, formal dress, and business communications.