Melbourne Rebels players continue to add to their personal toolkit, giving up three hours on Thursday to participate in a Maximising Impact workshop led by RUPA’s Recruitment Partner, PageGroup.
The workshop, delivered by PageGroup’s Stephanie Iafigliola, is designed to equip players with the tools to enhance their public speaking prowess, and to deliver impactful words when being interviewed or presenting to a group. Players learnt how to apply techniques which allow them to retain their confidence in ambiguous situations and how to communicate calmly and clearly.
Backrower Rob Leota said that it was an engaging and worthwhile activity.
“I enjoyed learning the breathing techniques which can assist with your preparation,” he said. “When you’re being interviewed, remembering to keep eye contact and being able to use pauses to find confidence and find the right answers.
“I think it is really important to continue to develop a skill such as public speaking, being comfortable in your own skin and being confident in the message that you want to deliver. If you’re speaking to media, for example, it’s important to be true to yourself and allow your personality to shine through.
“I didn’t know what to expect today, but I thought it was awesome. I really enjoyed Steph’s energy and she made all the boys feel very comfortable today, she came in and ran a really interactive session. We can take a lot out of today for sure and it’s great to keep growing in this space.”
Lock Ross Haylett-Petty told the group at the start of the session that he had done debating in High School in a determined effort to improve his public speaking ability, and speaking afterwards he stressed the importance of continuing to develop in this area.
"I acknowledged that I'm naturally introverted, but I also know that life comes with challenges and you're going to need to speak in front of people, so I went into public speaking and debating as a development tool knowing that if I could learn skills like that it would be advantageous for me later in life," he said.
"As a professional athlete, your career is conducted in the public domain and it's important to feel as comfortable as possible in the spotlight whether you're speaking with media or with fans. To know how to get the right messages across is really important, so the more work we do in that kind of sphere, the better."
Haylett-Petty said that the gap between Super Rugby and the NRC season kicking off presents a good opportunity for players to invest time in areas, such as this, off the field.
"I definitely enjoy doing things like this. A Rugby career is a short part of your life, and it's important to develop your self off the field, and at this time of the year it's important to invest some of our extra time in becoming better people.
"It's great that RUPA has this partnership with PageGroup, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my first opportunity to work with them. I think it's a great partnership for RUPA, designed to develop skills while we're playing and then assist with our transition out of sport."
PageGroup, who recently extended their partnership with RUPA until the end of 2021, provide current players access to individual and small group PageGroup training sessions through each professional Club’s Player Development Program, with the sessions focusing on topics such as personal branding, communication styles, leadership and more.
PageGroup will also provide industry-leading expertise and employment assistance for any former players through their alignment with the RUPA Players’ Alumni, assisting transition through interview and resume writing advice, sourcing employment opportunities, and even hiring past players who are passionate about a future in recruitment.