Friday, July 22, 2016

Practice is Priceless

Hey everyone! This is the replacement for July 7th's blog, which was also lost.

For the first portion of class, we were given a lecture on public speaking. The guest speaker, Jennifer, has coached individuals such as ourselves on delivering speeches effectively for about twenty years. She recently has been working with students from Harvard University. 

It was interesting to learn about how only ten percent of the audience’s impression is based off of the actual content of the speech. Thirty percent is auditory, and sixty percent is visual. I took detailed notes of the lecture so that I could remember all of Jennifer’s helpful tips, some of which included ways to lower nerves and how to write a compelling speech. I would need these not only for tomorrow’s Action Plan speech, but for today’s practice rounds.

For the second portion of class, the class was organized into groups that would perform different tasks: one group would deliver their speeches in front of a large group, another group would ask questions, another group would provide feedback, and the rest would be practicing with Christine in a smaller group. We would alternate after everyone had completed their assigned role.

As time went on, I could feel my stomach twisting up into knots and the jittery energy shoot through my body. It had been a while since I’d been so anxious about speaking in front of an audience. I believe that, although it was very helpful, the focus on certain details Jennifer had emphasized led to me overthink things and, thus, psych myself out.

My in-class speeches were not things I was necessarily proud of, because I knew I could’ve done much better. I tried not to beat myself up too much, seeing as it was practice and the speeches were intended to be rough. I was also given quite a lot of useful feedback, in the end, and I knew that the next time I’d address my audience would be much better.

Given that it was the last time we could all get together and eat out, my cohort and our friends Sara, Lauren, Fern, Ishani, Jennifer (not the guest speaker), and Sachi went to Kabob and Curry. I had eaten at this restaurant before with some of them, but Sara had not, so we decided this would be the last time we would eat at a restaurant together.

There was a dance being held in one of the buildings near the V-Dub, so we quickly made our way to the dorms to get ready. Suffice to say, I had a blast. Dancing with everyone (or trying to get them to) was so fun and the music was great. It was the perfect way to end my second to last day at Brown. 

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