Seeking Proficiency at Public Speaking

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Something new is learnt by the masses everyday.

I’m sitting in the lecture for Public Speaking, and I realised that I’m an absolutely terrible listener, especially if the speech’s content is not engaging. Or if the speaker is not engaging. Basically if you don’t grab my attention.

Given that my attention span is roughly the same length as that of a rock, that isn’t a very good thing. 

When this happens, and I lose interest in what you’re saying, I start having a conversation in my own head where I’m commenting on the speech, adding my own little anecdotes and having the time of my life making an imaginary enraptured audience laugh at my every little sidenote. 

That wasn’t a joke. There is actually like a legitimate bunch of people with shadowy faces in my mind who wait with bated breath for the next brilliant comment that I come up with.

This isn’t a good thing if I’m expected to give a speech, because I tend to get lost in the jokes, and lose my train of thought. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why cue cards are important.

Being good at public speaking involves way more than having a nice voice, or being able to control your volume/tempo/whatever. It means having the attention of your audience from the word ‘go,’ and being able to hold that attention throughout the duration of your speech.

If I get surprised to see you suddenly speaking and I start paying attention only to find that you are in the middle of your speech, then you’ve already lost the first half of the battle.

Not pointing anyone out, just something I’d like to observe. 

Kudos to the speaker though, she held my attention after I had gotten over my initial shock.

In the lecture now, for SSA2209: Government and Politics of Singapore. Crap, he brought up saris, time to pay attention.

Must dash, toodlepoo.

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