The first episode of Shark Tank Malta has come and gone. And it seems to have instilled a similar reaction in many: the Maltese education system needs to do much more to prepare our children to be good public speakers.
Gadgets CEO Martina Zammit pointed out as much in a LinkedIn post, saying that “Malta needs to improve its presentation, communication, and public speaking skills. This was one of the things that came to mind as I watched the first episode of Shark Tank Malta. While I thought the production was very good, the quality and level of the presentations (overall) during the show made it ever so clear that Malta’s education system needs to be ramped up”.
Shark Tank is, after all, exactly what it claims to be. You need to be ready to enter the tank and face the sharks, but you also need to be a shark yourself. The business reality television series is the American franchise of the international format Dragons’ Den, which originated in Japan as ‘Money Tigers’ in 2001.
The show is intended for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business models to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their idea. Pitch and persuade, that’s what it’s all about.
So what are the Maltese like when it comes to presentation, communication and public speaking skills? Have they mastered the art of persuasion? Shark Tank Malta seems to be shining a particular light on the matter and on the urgent need to do something about it.
Business coach Nathan Farrugia was one of the many who had their say, and in reaction to Zammit’s LinkedIn post, he wrote:
“It’s not just Shark Tank. When our whole educational system requires kids to ‘shut up and listen to teacher’, they struggle to formulate an argument out loud. Even really good CEOs struggle to communicate their message across succinctly to their shareholders and employees. It’s a learnable skill. You don’t have to be an extrovert.“
Johann Agius, on his part, spoke about his involvement in Junior Chamber International (JCI), an NGO for young people aged between 18 and 40. Agius wrote in reaction to the discussion about the need for the Maltese to have better communication, presentation and public speaking skills:
“This is exactly what we’re working on helping young people with at the moment through JCI Malta. We just had a public speaking competition through which the winner will now have the chance to represent Malta in an international competition in Belgium, an amazing opportunity to not only speak at a European level, but also to learn from other speakers from around the continent.”
And the debate rages on.
What do you think needs to be done to improve the Maltese public’s communication, presentation & public speaking skills?