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Awards Spotlight - Asma Riaz from Walsall Speakers

Introducing Asma Riaz from Walsall Speakers, Inspirational Individuals Award Winner

Why do you love what you do? I have been part of Walsall Speakers for four and a half years now, what makes me stay is seeing individuals come into the room shy and lacking in confidence and then transform into a beautiful confident radiant person who engages and communicates in ways they didn’t think possible. It keeps me going knowing a bit of support and mentoring can change people’s lives for the better.

The Awards are about bringing people together, can you tell us about some of the great things that are happening to bring people together in your sector? Walsall Speakers continued to run during the pandemic via Zoom. We can help people learn techniques not only in person but on screen too. Toastmasters in UK and Ireland are also training people on how to use Zoom and be comfortable. Walsall Speakers is affordable and provides great support. We can help with interview skills, leadership, communication and you get a one-to-one mentor once you become a member. So, it really is a positive environment during some of the hardest of times.

What is your vision for Walsall in the next five years, especially within your sector? Our vision for Walsall Speakers is to help people in Walsall with communication and leadership skills. We have run two youth leadership programmes at Salisbury Primary School, and we will look to reach out to other schools in the community. We would also like to run an equivalent program for adults called ‘Speechcraft’. Both of these are 10-week programs to enhance and hone in on those all-important skills which we will hope will stay with people for a long time and support the community going back to a ‘new normal’ confidently.

What are you most looking forward to doing post-COVID-19? What we really can't wait to do is shake each other’s hands and, most importantly, hug each other! Being with, and close to, your friends and family is the most important thing and we just can't wait for that day. In the meantime, we are happy to see each other on a screen or from afar and would love others to join us so we can make everyone in Walsall a confident communicator and leader.


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