Back To Top

Mara at the MYTA Awards 2018

Clear understand the importance of developing their staff which is why Clear are happy to be members of the long standing personal development organisation JCI.

JCI (Junior Chamber International) is a global organisation, with over 200,000 members in over 100 countries which aims to develop young entrepreneurs and business professionals aged between 18-40. They provide a range of different development courses from public speaking, leadership, marketing, finance, along with networking opportunities and opportunities to gain experience. 

Their most recent experience opportunity was one of public speaking; To co-host their annual Manchester Young Talent Association (MYTA) Awards ceremony. Our Client Services Manager, Mara Polansky, wanted to practice her public speaking skills whilst also raising the profile of herself and Clear to the thriving Manchester business community. 

Photo by Paul Fawley

The Competition Process: 

JCI Manchester hosted a competition for a variety of public speaking opportunities, including co-hosting the MYTA Awards. The competition included a Pecha Kucha style presentation on the topic ‘Better Me, Better We’ and the individual interpretation on the phrase.

Pecha Kucha is style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total). They are generally on a range of topics that are well known to the presenter, as the presentations are concise and fast-paced. 

Mara has great experience public speaking in her previous role, and comes from a background in theatre, however even she admitted it was a difficult challenge: 

“I felt there was so much to say on the topic and it was so fast-paced, you really had to know your stuff to make sure you didn’t fall behind, particularly given the slides were changing every 20 seconds automatically!” 

Photo by Paul Fawley

The Prize

Of all the contestants, Mara along with two others were awarded different public speaking opportunities. Mara felt very honoured to be selected for two different public speaking roles: As a MYTA co-host and as part of the Manchester JCI Debate Team, performing at this year’s JCI National Convention in Doncaster the 24th-26th of November. 

“It was great to have been selected for both opportunities!” Mara notes. 

Photo by Paul Fawley

The Night

The MYTA Awards night was held on November 15, 2018 at the Museum for Science and Industry in Manchester. Mara worked with her co-host Alex, the event coordinator, members of the JCI board and our own Client Services Director Caroline Moran to ensure that the speech she presented on the night was professional, entertaining and ensured that the night’s award winners got the special moment on stage that they deserved. 

“My work with Clear really helped me know what to expect, as I’ve helped with different award ceremonies Clear have produced. Having observed other award ceremony hosts, it was a massive help knowing how other professionals would hush crowds or raise excitement if they seemed to go quiet. It gave me confidence in the role I needed to fulfil and allowed me to take pride in my own hosting personality.” 

Looking Forward

While Mara might be getting over the rush of one public speaking experience, 

catching up with emails and contacting those she’s met to build on new relationships, coming up very shortly is the JCI National Convention where she will be a part of the debate team. She also hopes to take a more active role in JCI in the future. 

“It’s fantastic to be surrounded by so many people who are ambitious and want to better themselves. These are the types of connections you need to build good business. You can see how the people who attend develop themselves in skill and confidence. Overall, I look forward to see where my participation can take me in my career with Clear.”