Woodcock’s, when we persuade our Professors to curve the final exam; when we speak at all, we are conducting ourselves in a manner that influences others with a defining representation of ourselves, our thoughts and interests. These thoughts and interests collected by our listeners are used to further generate a public opinion that either labels us as credible or incredible. It is said that when you meet a person, he makes a Judgment about you in the first four seconds and his Judgment is finalized within 30 seconds, this is why public speaking is an important tool that we, as college dents, must continuously polish and practice.
I used both my previous knowledge from a high school speech class and the new knowledge shared by Professor Brock in classroom setting to create a telling and effective speech worth both the time of my Professor as well as my peers. Just a few short years ago I went to Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego where we were required to take the infamous and dreaded “Speech” class. Although I didn’t yet appreciate it at the time, after taking Comes 101 here at Cal Poly, I realize how much I benefited from that class back in high school.
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In that speech class freshman year I delivered impromptu, informative and persuasive speeches, as well as a research speech and eulogy. These speeches were the perfect opportunities to overcome my initial fears of public speaking and they also made me a more confident persuasive individual- both of which are important characteristics to master in the professional business work place. Also I believe my Speech class helped me establish a stronger and clearer speaking voice.
My high school Speech class was larger than the closet-sized classroom we were in this past quarter, so in that previous setting, I was given a hence to experiment with my vocal sounds to find my own volume. My strong speaking voice was what I found to be written most often as a compliment on my peer evaluation forms. On the first day of Comes 101, I entered the classroom with two black eyes and a slightly cut face. Over winter break at an SUDS party, my group of friends were involved in a brawl with another group, and I had been backing up a buddy of mine.
The obvious dilemma I faced was the classic Judgment students develop within the first four seconds of interaction. I knew because of the redeposit notions students might have already had for who I am and the quality of me as an individual, I would have to win them over with my credibility, assertiveness and the quality of my speeches. I was fighting an uphill battle. The black eyes weren’t my only issues I had before walking into class that first day. Previously in public speaking I had a problem with speaking in an overly rehearsed and memorized manner.
I would get so worried about blanking in the middle of my actual class speech that I liked to study my written speech so much to the point where I could almost recite it. Professor Brook’s Comes class was a rude awakening for me at first, because it forced me to speak in a more extemporaneous manner, this also helped me add credibility to my speech. My demonstration speech, according to peer and Professor evaluations, appeared too scripted and I seemed uncomfortable while presenting in front of the class.
These critiques were especially helpful because now I realize why scripted and memorized speeches are not the best option when delivering a speech. After this assignment, I knew that I needed to spend more time rehearsing my speeches without notes so that I would appear more natural and well rehearsed when speaking to the class. This would also lead to my speeches being more enjoyable and pleasant to listen to from the audience’s perspective. On speaking days students hear one speech after another, unless you can find a way to create a unique and lasting impression on your audience, then your speech Just becomes one of many.
My first speech I gave the class was the informative speech, in order to gain credibility and build rapport with my fellow classmates, I chose a recent ND real issue that was taking place in another part of the world. I gave my informative speech on the Book Harm insurgency organization that has been terrorizing the people of Nigeria in recent years, including the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls. I think an important part of the speech is the topic in general. If you are giving a persuasive or two-sided speech, you will almost always have some students that automatically hold opposing views than your own.
In order to help avoid this, I chose a topic that would be emotionally appealing to all students. When dents hear about atrocities taking place to real students their own age, it forces their attention and engagement, thus this topic worked in my favor by enhancing my credibility and gaining the emotional appeal of my audience. Out of all four speeches I presented to my class during Comes 101, the persuasive speech was by far the most beneficial and valuable to my public speaking ability.
I also believe that I was able to encompass all that I learned during our Comes 101 class and display my knowledge in one complete package. An important aspect of the persuasive speech as the incorporation of a visual aid or Powering presentation to help us display our thoughts and information in a clear and transparent manner. The most challenging part of Powering presentations was trying to decide what information was necessary for the audience to visually see and what would actually carry meaningful weight for the overall message of my pro-gun control speech.
In order to explain what we should put on the Powering slides, Professor Brock showed us a presentation on the “do’s and don’t” in creating a Powerboat’s for assignments in her class, and future assignments at Cal Poly. I thought this presentation was extremely helpful because although I had taken notes on this aspect of speeches before in my previous classes, there was some new information and examples provided that were helpful to incorporate. In particular, I learned that pictures were effective ways to force students into a specific mood or state of mind.
Although it was a troubling image, I decided to include a picture of all the Sandy Hook Elementary Victims, then I concluded my persuasive speech with the line “2016 is an election year, you have the opportunity to save a life by voting for gun control. The picture of the victims appealed to the emotions of students, and when I had them in that vulnerable state of mind, I gave them the opportunity to channel that energy by stating that they have the opportunity to make a change and take affirmative action.
My persuasive speech also helped me prepare for the business world ahead. It is inevitable that all of us, as college students, will continue to give presentations on a regular basis whether it is for a class, Job interview, or senior project. During my persuasive speech’s Powering demonstration, I learned how to arrange graphs and ATA charts in a transparent and clear style. Later down the line, in a professional setting I will also be giving presentations to co-workers and managing supervisors on business related research and analysis.
I hope to eventually be hired on as a Sales Marketing Manager for a Microbrewery or Winery in California. I know that with a career in sales, comes a large amount of business goal related analysis and breakdown. I will definitely be in a position where I will either have to report to a higher authority or display information to my sales staff in a clear and easy-to-follow I learned invaluable information from Professor Brock and the Speeches I was way. Squired to prepare, but I still believe that the most beneficial aspect of our Comes 101 class was learning from the speeches of fellow students. One of the best introductions I have ever witnessed was from a student who stood up and played the old school movie countdown 15, 14, 13, 12, 11,… Etc. , when the image flashed to O the student began his speech with “someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related injury every 15 minutes. ” I thought this intro acted as an extremely powerful kook, which swiftly demanded the room’s attention in a very dramatic fashion.
Once the student had our ears, he began his persuasive speech on why the drinking age should remain at 21 and supported his reasoning with appropriate statistics and research data. I think this student’s speech was so memorable to me because he seemed so credible and reliable to the point where I thought I was being lectured by a Professor. The student seemed like he went above and beyond preparing a persuasive speech and chose instead to become an absolute expert on the topic. The student especially demonstrated his knowledge of the issue when he answered tough questions during the Q and A forum following the speech.
This Just goes to show that you gain rapport and credibility with your audience when you can demonstrate a superior knowledge. Other than the student who gave the impressive pro 21 drinking age speech, there was one other student’s speech that had a lasting effect on me. For the first speaking day of our final story telling speech I was extremely sick and had to miss class. I regret not being able to make it to class hat day because I thoroughly enjoyed the round of story speeches I heard during the second speaking day, which I finally made it to.
There was a guy who casually walked up to the podium and delivered a speech about a girlfriend that had broken his heart. His speech was one of the most honest and sincere speeches I have ever heard, and unfortunately I had to deliver mine right after his! I remember how extemporaneously the student spoke in front of the class; he barely glanced down at his note sheet more than a couple times and sounded more like he was having a conversation with us. He spoke as if he was coming from the heart, a very hard thing to do in front of fellow students.
In conclusion, I had a positive experience in Communications 101 with Professor Brock because she gave us valuable skills and knowledge that will help us in our future endeavors involving public speaking and delivering presentations. Although I am still not the best public speaker by a wide margin, I am leaving the class with more knowledge and confidence in my abilities than I first entered. There are a few less butterflies in my stomach when I approach the podium, and my hands are a bit less clammy.