Silke is the author of the e-book Public Speaking – From Preparation to Presentation: How to become confident, relaxed and meaningful (available on amazon). She is a speech coach and translator and facilitates workshops and training courses. Today she is talking to us about her work and her relationship with the Lord.
Can you briefly tell us who you are?
I am an established soft skills training expert with 25 years’ experience. I have written and facilitated training courses on various topics, including Presentation Skills, Train-the-Trainer, Voice coaching and Interpersonal Skills. I now offer individualised one-to-one coaching for public speaking and voice development and I have just finalised my Advanced Diploma in Translation (English – German) at the University of Namibia. My consulting work began in 1995 and has since developed further in the fields of translation and career guidance. I live with my family in Windhoek, Namibia. In my free time, I love to do Pilates and walking for exercise and have hiked the Fish River Canyon (Namibia) twice. I am also a founding member of the Professional Speaker’s Association of Namibia.
Tell us about your journey with the Lord so far
I met the Lord when I was just 21, through friends, when I realized that growing up in a traditionally Christian home, being baptized and confirmed is not the same as having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have been on the journey with Him ever since, being thankful for all He has done and is still doing for me.
Please tell us about the your work?
I have been a freelance soft-skills trainer for 25+ years; I freelance, because it suits the needs of our family. The freelance training market has become very competitive. Hence, I have diversified recently by studying towards a Diploma in Translation (English- German). Public speaking has been my passion ever since I was a teenager and took part in speech competitions. I have mastered the Advanced Bronze Program of Toastmaster’s International. I now offer one-on-one speech coaching to clients because I have found that, for many people, learning the skills of public speaking works better in this safe, one-on-one learning environment. During the past few years of less paying regular work, I have the time to write down my experience in public speaking in book form.
What led to your passion for helping and motivating others?
I love imparting knowledge to people. I have done this for many years. I have found over the past few years, that coaching people one-on-one is so much more impactful because I can focus on the client’s individual need or challenge. In the process it has been important to me to be a ‘sign-post’ for the Lord at the same time as teaching, training, coaching, inspiring and motivating.
How has your work/ministry impacted the lives of people?
Simply through the feedback I receive after clients have completed training, coaching or career guidance; I bump into people after a few years, and get feedback that they are still using the skills they learnt, have overcome their speech anxiety and have increased their confidence to apply what they have learnt.
What does an average week look like for you?
Varying – at times, it’s off to the training venue or conference centre, conducting training. I also see my coaching clients, for an hour at a time, weekly, for the planned number of sessions. In addition, I provide career guidance for learners. At times, I also do transcribing or proofreading for clients.
Fridays I keep open for social-missionary work – I lead a team of volunteers from my church which focuses on supporting a soup kitchen, a centre for vulnerable and orphaned children and a school for mentally challenged children in our city. This includes a project organization, providing leadership, buying and delivering food, distributing clothing or managing funds. I also provide career guidance and training for CV writing and job interviews for a non-profit organisation focusing on vulnerable youth. I love that part of my ‘work’/ministry, which grew as a result of having time when paying work did not come in regularly.
What is the best advice you were ever given?
I have a mentor, who has encouraged me so much over the past few years, when I started to doubt my ability as freelancer. She has helped me see that all the while when work did not come in I was actually setting the right priorities,- i.e. being there for my family, being on my knees for my family, rather than fighting for a career which so often takes a mom and wife out of the centre of where God wants us. And, realizing that, despite very little income from my side, God was still providing for our family by blessing my husband with work. It is during these years that the ministry of providing food, clothing, support and training for underprivileged children and youth has started to grow.
What is the most difficult you have faced as a Christian?
Trusting God that He was in control during difficult times of my life – like little paying work, or depression, or tough times in my marriage. Believing that I was still doing the right thing even when I did not understand God’s path.
How can we pray for you?
Please pray that my book will be a blessing to people at grass roots level, i.e. people who want to share the good news, but often lack the skills of doing so, or are shy or inexperienced. At the same time I need the book to sell, so that the costs I put into it, will break even. Please pray for translation work to come in– I would love to translate Christian content which so that people in another language can benefit.
Silke von Seydlitz
Translation/ Übersetzung (English – German) –
Author of Book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MC6L8J
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