Public Speaking

This week, I’m taking a 3 credit hour Public Speaking course in summer school. That’s right: 3 credit hours, one week. Sounds daunting, right? I mean, most 3 credit hour classes are spread out over sixteen weeks. It seems like a lot to cram it all into one week.

Well, it’s been challenging, but not because of the workload. I’m actually beginning to wonder how they manage to stretch out the material over an entire semester…but I suppose it’s shortened and concentrated for the sake of the class structure.

The content has been the most challenging. I spent a good five hours yesterday (and several more today) preparing one measly little ten-minute speech. At least, you’d think it would measly and little, but it’s seems so much easier when you’re watching somebody else do the talking. For me, it’s been a struggle to get my ideas clear and organized in a way that I can remember without having to constantly read off my notes and in a way that makes sense to an audience who’s not familiar with the material.

I think I’ve succeeded. At least, when I gave my practice speech to Jordan tonight, I felt reasonably confident, only lost my train of thought two or three times, and actually ended within the required time limit. Let’s hope it goes as smoothly tomorrow morning.

The annoying thing with preparing a speech is that even when you’re done, it’s not like “done writing that paper” done. It’s more like, “well, I think I’ve got all my notes in order, and I think I’m ready, and if I could just do the damn thing now and get it over with that’d be great, but I should probably practice some more…” done.

I will practice some more. But first, we swim.

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