Public Speaking: The Odyssey Continues
For the past three class days, and for at least one more, we’re doing our informative speeches in CMJ 103. Some of my classmates’ speeches so far have been interesting; some have been tedious; two have been downright tiresome, because the people delivering them have had clearly visible axes to grind and it’s not appropriate to grind them in what was supposed to be an informative speech. That’s what persuasive speeches, which we start working on next week, are for.
I delivered mine last Friday. It went pretty well, I think. My delivery could’ve been smoother, but hey. This is a general public speaking class that everyone hoping to receive a degree from the University at some point is required to take. The bar is not really all that high. And that’s not to say I’m not trying – I’m making a concerted effort to take the whole thing as seriously as possible and do the best I can; just that I needn’t get that down on myself about any stylistic fumbles I may have committed along the way.
Our instructor records all our speeches with a Flip video camera, then uploads them to Flip’s private video sharing site and sends us the links (only to our own) after the class, so that we can watch ourselves and file a self-evaluation for next time. (This is folded into our grade in some mysterious way.) FlipShare’s private sharing site is a YouTube-ish streaming Flash video thing, and I just figured out over the weekend how to capture the streams and convert them into something more generally useful for archival purposes. I’ve got last week’s, and indeed the introductory speech I posted a transcript of a while back, on my laptop’s hard drive now. The link from Moonbase Dad is too slow for me to upload them anywhere tonight, but maybe if you’re good boys and girls I’ll post them later.
On Friday, once the informatives are out of the way, we get to start thinking about the first of our two persuasive speeches. The first is intended to be delivered to a neutral-to-friendly audience, the second to a hostile one. I’m not sure how that’ll be accomplished, since in both cases we’ll be addressing the rest of the class. Perhaps it will involve some roleplaying. I have a few ideas for persuasive speeches I might develop, but I haven’t made any decision yet, and I won’t have to until next week. Our topics for Persuasive 1 were going to be due Friday, but since some of us won’t actually have done our informatives until Wednesday, the instructor decided to give those people a bit more time by pushing the topic deadline until the next Wednesday (since there’s no school on Monday).
In other news, we attempted to have our second rounds of observations for AST 110 tonight, but were largely thwarted by cloud cover. We got one telescopic object in (sort of), I managed to point out two constellations (and I would’ve gotten a third one, except that the clouds ate Cygnus before I could get hold of a TA), but we threw in the towel an hour early because we were getting socked in and our weapons were useless. When you’re in a spot with as much light pollution as the Maynard F. Jordan Observatory, you don’t need the added handicap of near-total overcast.