public speaking · Uncategorized

Public Speaking: Assumptions, Reactions, and Enjoyment


At college today I had a taste of a Public Speaking class.

When I opened the door to the classroom I was greeted with Christian rock music, and a teacher singing along while straightening up the chairs. Not something one would expect at 8 in the morning. I sat down in the class and waited for the other students to file into their seats. Since I like to sit in the front, I thought I would be a lonely island as all the “cool cats” were in the back chatting to each other.

To my amazement this girl walks over and sits two seats to my right. Her name is Christina. I smiled at her and she smiled back. She brushed her hair from the left side of her face (sorry I’m very observant when it comes to reactions) and looked at me from the corner of her eye blushing a little. I just told myself to act normal and return the favor with a slight blush. Hopefully I didn’t overstep my boundaries.

Welcome to Public Speaking!

The class begins with a charismatic women of 56. She even awarded us by going through her whole life story. After that, we spent some time introducing ourselves to two other classmates, and couldn’t just be our friends or other people we know. What transpired next was a class sized version of Hunger Games, without the killing of course.

False Assumptions and Enjoyment

Before we even began I had cemented the fact that I was going to stutter, and no matter how many years of speech therapy I’ve had no techniques would work. Truth be told my “breaking the ice” skills are still under construction. My first classmate Benita, greeted me with a smile and a handshake. As we started to get into more of a conversation past name-giving, I started to have blocks on almost everything. Normally for me it’s just (A,E,I,O,U,L, and Th) this time it was like my brain was having a panic attack. Her facial expression changed from a pleasant smile to stoic and her body language became more tense and timid as if she were afraid of something or someone. I wasn’t going to let this bring me down. I still had one more person to go.

By sheer dumb luck I ended up talking to Christina (seriously I just turned around and there she was looking at me). The conversation flowed smoothly which made me relax more. Maybe it was that blush or her noticing me that eased my nerves, whatever it was I felt like I just radiated confidence when I was talking with her. Strange. We actually talked a lot during our little conversation. After class she even said, “See you tomorrow James”. My smile was hard to maintain as I went off to my piano class.

– James

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4 thoughts on “Public Speaking: Assumptions, Reactions, and Enjoyment

  1. All it takes is one wonderful reaction and the stutter can be pushed aside. I know exactly how this feels. Well done, James, for even wanting to take Public Speaking in the first place. I know a lot of non-stutterers who won’t go near public speaking. It is a big phobia for many.

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    1. I had my first speech today on a peer who’ve we know nothing about. I started off being nervous, but as I progressed I became more confident in myself. I didn’t realize at that moment my speech turned from being choppy and robotic, to more of a conversation. Can’t wait for the next speech and what I got for a score!

      My math teacher even told me today that anytime he has to give a speech (other then math), he’ll refuse because he’s petrified of messing up.

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      1. I know so many people who simply refuse to even give speeches at their own birthday parties and stuff cause they are terrified of the thought of speaking to a crowd. If I have to read from a speech already written – I’m done. If I can adlib a little, I’m fine. So weird.

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