Friday, July 26, 2013

Unspoken Speeches

Today in class we studied the art of public speaking. A guest speaker came in for the whole day to give us a workshop on how to be a successful public speaker. At first I wasn't sure how we would be able to fill up the whole day just focusing on public speaking. I always thought that public speaking was pretty basic; just speaking to a group instead of one individual. My presumptions were extremely wrong. Public speaking could probably take up my entire life with all the things to learn. Today we studied quite a few aspects of public speaking with the help of Jennifer, a public speaking instructor. 

For the morning part of class, we discussed all the things that comprise a good speech. We spoke about things like diction, addressing your audience, articulation, body language and much, much more. She had all this amazing advice and it was overwhelming because of all the things that I was trying to absorb. She told us that 60% of a speech is body language, 30% is how you speak, 10% is what you say. It was amazing to realize how much I was missing in my speeches by not addressing and focusing on while I was trying to get my point across. She also told us to think about what the audience is focused on. We then went to lunch with a lot of information to digest.

After lunch, we were split into two groups to practice speech making. We had to give a speech about specific topics with only 1 minute to prepare. The minute actually hurt me more than helped me. I had a whole minute to mull over my syntax and mess myself up. I spoke about my Action Plan which is a very close subject to my heart and it proved difficult to speak about it in a professional speech way. I found out that despite my simple ideas of public speaking, I wasn't extremely good at keeping everything in check. I would just speak from my heart, but then forget to stand with my feet planted on the ground. I had trouble remembering each aspect of a good speech. It was a meaningful experience despite my failures and I enjoyed the feedback.

After today's class I realized how much you say in life can be unspoken speeches. It made me realize to be more aware of myself in how I present myself. 

At dinner, we went to meet with Ms. Neal, and check-in about the week thus far. We spoke about our thoughts of the class and how the week was outside of class. I found it hard to summarize all of my wonderful experiences throughout this week. It seemed like most people where having a great time thus far at Brown. Most of us weren't ready to go home yet. So excited for next week Brown! Thank you for all these wonderful memories, ILC!
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