MILLBURN, NJ — The fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias around.

In order to help residents learn the critical skill of communication, presentation and public speaking, the Millburn Library played host to a crash course that worked to teach strategies people could use.

Jyoti Singhvi, a public speaking expert and township resident, was on hand to teach program attendees about public speaking. Singhvi founded The Ace Groupe, an Ed-tech firm, which trains corporate employees, professionals, and kids in communication skills.

Sign Up for Millburn/Short Hills Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

During her career in business before becoming a speaking coach, Singhvi also worked at Cartier, IBM, & KPMG Consulting. She earned her degrees from MIT and Harvard, where she got deeper training in communication skills. 

Over the course of the approximately hour-long program, the attendees were given pro tips on how they could become better communicators. Singhvi gave similar training to an auditorium full of children and parents the day before. Singhvi emphasized proper communication, eye contact, enunciation, and other topics of public speaking that people will often panic and forget.

"Just like I told my audience, I tailor my speeches to my audience," Singhvi said. "And [I] give them as many best practices, strategies and pro tips that they can start implementing right away in their life and work and maybe school."

Singhvi also said that coaching adults and children are different. Kids will usually either be too quiet and not be speaking up or will speak and need to become more articulate.

On the other hand, adults who need coaching on public speaking fall into a much more nuanced set of categories. Some may need help learning how to convey messages in a more articulate way to multi-functional teams, executives and clients. Others may look to help beef up their voice modulation, managing nervousness and speech delivery and messaging.

As Singhvi noted, while some people may be hesitant to learn how to speak in public, it is a skill that will ultimately help those who learn it out in life.

"It's a very dreaded thing, and when it's dreaded, we try to escape it," Singhvi said. "But it's an extremely crucial skill. Start getting engaged in communication and developing this skill, because you'll start reaping the benefits quickly."