Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m Local

This video resonates with my internal struggle, of the concept of my nationality, expressing patriotism, and how I identify the roots of my history.

The speaker, Ms Taiye Selasi, like many of us in this generation, was born in a different country to where her ancestors were born, and has moved or migrated overseas at some point, identifying as a part of whichever society they assimilated into.

The neat word ‘Multinational’, as ms Selasi points out, is better suited to conglomerates than human beings, She critiques the idea of being a national of any country in fact, as countries are concepts of institution. We are conditioned to think of countries as eternal and constant.

She points out that in her own lifetime, she has seen countries disappear – Czechoslovakia, countries have been reborn – Estonia , and Countries have failed – Somalia; so they are not as permanent as we think, and certainly not a good measure for where a person’s real history comes from.

She exemplifies that an answer like “I’m from Paris”, conjures the idea of the stereotypical Parisian and their cliches, it encourages others to categorize us and assume the myth & legend of Paris.

She suggests that an answer like “I am local to Melbourne & London” creates a more true to character description for those whom have lived abroad.

The key here is that we do not borrow any stereotype as our own representation of personal background, but we paint a more accurate impression by stitching the varied metropolitan cultures that we have been lucky enough to experience.

3R’s= Rituals, Relationship, Restrictions

Her proposition is to replace our assumptions by seeking to understand the 3 defining elements of a person’s culture in the context of their address/ homes.

Rituals are the celebrations, customs, the traditional recipes and so on.

Relationships are the people that shape your weekly emotional experience, best friends, family, face to face contact.

Restrictions, moves away from where are you now, to why are you not where you were? gives a clearer understanding of how the person reacts emotionally to the undesirable elements of their surroundings.

Its not about the specificity of the answer you wish to get, but moving the intention away from simplifying the introduction of a new person, to seeking a deeper understanding of a complex human experience.

What are we really seeking when we ask the question , and what do we hear when they answer with a country.

The usage of countries implies political power and hiding behind a national identity rather than reveal our real, personal multi-faceted identities.

It is when we understand each other’s vulnerabilities and challenges, that we come to recognize each other as human equals.

So where are you local?

FOLLOW-UP VIDEO: THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY

Be Observant.

It’s Eloquence Academy Body Language Awareness Week !


Your body is a fascinating and useful communication tool and this week we are encouraging our readers to take more notice.
Messages and ideas can be exchanged in a single glance without a word uttered but how do we know what to look out for and what to focus on ?

Previously, we asked our readers to become more aware of :

  • Voice Clarity & Intonation
  • Facial Expressions 
  • Posture & Proximity 
  • Gestures 
  • Eye Contact 
  • Touch

If you are unsure where to begin do not worry we have found the following site for a little  Observation Training help 🙂 All the best !

Eloquence Body Language Awareness Week

Body language often has great impact in transmitting messages to the listener.

When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and confusion. If you want to become a better communicator, it is important to become more sensitive not only to the body language and nonverbal cues of others, but also to your own.

tumblr_o4m00hI4aE1r9c2hyo1_500Even the infamous Donald Trump makes use of gestures to get people to listen to him on his presidential campaign. If he can do it, there’s no reason you can’t.




Take our part in our Eloquence Academy Body Language Awareness Week. 

Take notice of the people around you and be conscious of your own expression. Observe the following in your environment:

  • Voice  Clarity & Intonation
  • Facial Expressions 
  • Posture & Proximity 
  • Gestures 
  • Eye Contact 
  • Touch

    Follow us on social media as we share more tips and fascinating stories on non-verbal communication this week.

How To Be Confident: Do Not Be A Robot.

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When you sign up for training from a public speaking coach you would expect tips and guidelines on how to be a great speaker. You would expect to be told what to do and how to be in order to deliver presentations “correctly”. The Internet is filled with the usual public speaking tips coaches teach.

Go ahead and Google it. The right postures, the gestures, and the structures all there on the wonderful world wide web. 

It is like putting people into a factory line, putting a new coat of shiny ‘speaker qualities’ on them and expecting them to be successful confident speaker robots.  No doubt the training does improve some people out there but we feel in most cases, it is mostly just a facade. Of course you still need the basic rules but too much instructions and guidelines just stress individuals out. It dulls their personalities which is what we think the main ingredient of a good speaker is.

Eloquence Academy includes tips and skills training as a foundation but after showing students the basics, we focus on them exploring their personality and individual talents to add more favour to their communication styles in everyday interactions. We encourage our students every step of the way in fun drama role-plays and game activities, all with the aim to develop their self-confidence first.

We do not want robots reading scripts on stage, we want diverse and interesting personalities to take the stage and tell their stories. 

Eloquence Academy & Teaching For A Good Cause

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
[Chinese proverb]

Earlier this week, our senior coach Laychi Low headed to Cambodia to assist in training young Cambodian volunteers with the Ambassadors for Christ Programme. 
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Volunteers received training in English & Drama to sharpen their communication skills.
The short course aimed to assist young Cambodian teachers to develop themselves before moving forward to teaching young students in different schools across Cambodia.

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Eloquence Academy encourages and supports community development through self exploration in public speaking and communication skills.

If you would like to work with us or find out more feel free to reach out to us.