A few weeks ago, I was up at 6 AM, and found myself driving into Boston at 7 muttering a mix of conjugated French verbs and snippets from a 7-minute testimony I had been asked to give at my college’s Open House.
I hate public speaking. I hated the public speaking element to the courses my mom “made” me take when I was homeschooled, figuring if I would never speak in public (who would make me?), what was the use of learning it? Well, apparently it’s very handy to have some idea of what to do in this situation, because even the most reclusive speakers might be called upon one day!
I had to give the same testimony to three different workshop-groups of incoming transfer students; I figured maybe 20 would show up for each. Heh. At the first, I counted 66 a few minutes before it started…by the time it ended, there were rows of people standing in the back. What a way to get some experience!
However, it definitely was not as bad as it could have been, since a couple of days beforehand I just happened (providentially!) to be writing some descriptions for The Communicators Advantage Proj., and had their advice fresh in my mind as I wrote down my outline!
I’m sure each time something didn’t come out exactly as I wanted it to, but I was greatly encouraged at the end–I had neither died, nor fainted, nor said anything (that I could remember!) that was horribly wrong or badly worded. In short, I survived. And now, now I know why I had to take all those public speaking co-op classes, read those books, fill in those workbooks…
So, if you’re looking for some public speaking curriculum: