University

Public Unspeaking

That title there, was how I basically sounded when I attempted public speaking.

#ohnoes

Peoples try to speak in public speaking, but I always seem to end up unspeaking. I’m not sure if unspeaking is an actual English word, but you can figure out the general idea from the negating prefix and the verb. If only I could speak as well as I type, but let’s face it, I spoke like how I typed, and my usual fashion of typing involved a lot of writing over, backspaces and undo’s redo’s. It worked well when I typed, but apparently the same miracle didn’t happen on speaking.

It also occurred to me that if I can speak like UNMC SA President Ben Hunte (OK that guy can really talk) or the lecturer I’m listening to from an online public speaking course in edx.org, then my writing speed would also increase in speed, or did they prepare a speech manuscript before speaking? It didn’t look like they did, and even if they did, I am certain the manuscript isn’t an exact replica as their presentation.

Me, boy, I hadn’t know how terrible I sounded before today. (Well I know I’m terrible in speaking but this was a whole new level of dread.) How I knew what I sounded like? I used a video capture software using my laptop’s built-in webcam (Debut Video Capture Software, if you want to know) and recorded myself. The crappy preview on the screen of me looking back at myself hadn’t helped, really. I found my face terribly distracting. Had to simply assume that I was my own interviewer, frown at myself when I hesitated too much or when my eyes drifted away to the void, and then nearly died of embarrassment when I watched the replayed video. However dreadful it was, I struggled to watch my silly shenanigans to the end and then after about, oh, six or seven similar impromptu speeches on my personal introduction, I have determined my five biggest flaws.

  • Generally expressionless
  • Face problem. My face is distracting.
  • Frequent pauses, hesitation, obvious effort at trying not to ‘um’ and ‘uh’, lots of backspaces and undo’s
  • It’s not my flaw but the webcam really sucks, the video is so choppy and crappy I’m so happy I hadn’t cried
  • MOVE, EYEBROWS, MOVE. MOVE LIKE KEVJUMBA. ANY EXPRESSION, THANK GOODNESS. YOUR MOUTH WASN’T EVEN MOVING.

I was forced into honing my non-existent speaking skills (and it’s not even public speaking yet, it’s just speaking) by a second year second semester module called Professional Skills for Engineers. A 100% coursework assessed module isn’t helping with the odds of my survival. For one, marks from coursework are always chaotic in nature, you never know what you are going to get. Secondly, deadlines associated with coursework are so orderly in nature they fall in close tandem. As such, I have resolved to cease all side interests – well, maybe after this blog post – until I get my speech right and when all the deadlines are back to my control. There are topics to research on and fictional proposals to plan. The only thing they do have in common with story writing was that they all spin yarns. The yarn for the proposal would be much tougher, being made of coconut fibre; the yarn for the presentation manuscript are going to be really massive.

I will have to cut this post short. It’s 12:26 AM now and I had already accumulated too many hours of sleep debts this week. I might follow up with the methods I am and will employ to tackle public speaking, so look out for a similar title. I think it will be something like “Republic Unspeaking” and then, if I wanted to work in a trilogy, a “Public Speaking” to wrap up my confrontation against the Beast of Speech itself.

The sequel to this post: Public Inspeaking

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