As I considered choosing speech towards the end of my first college experience, I decided, “why not take a jump, and just go for it? ” So I did. With taking college algebra, art appreciation, and an online course as well I feared that adding a speech class would become over whelming, however it did not. I believe while making my decision to take a fifteen week course of speech through Holly in Daytona Beach was an important decision my success in the class.
Instead of having a speech a week, (for a seven week course of speech) it was more like a couple a month.
This gave us time to go over concepts, to be involved in small activities (more support for our grade) that related to the speeches coming up. These activities went along with the speech, and I found that those helped us make the connection as of how they related. For example, the commercial speech where we had to sell something.
I believe that concept of selling a product, helped me grasp my understanding of the next speech, which was the persuasive speech.
More so, as a class Mrs. Hollins told us, she did not want us to just want this class to be over, and not to think that once we leave we will never talk again (even if that is the case), but she wanted us to connect with our classmates. I believe that helped my confidence. As when I had to go up in the front of the room and talk for 4 to 8 minutes, that and the practice from over the course of going up in front of the room so much.
My teacher was more like a friend, as she told us she had some sticklers for teachers and they would point out the bad, so she understood and remembered that pressure.
Whereas, this teacher, she would smile and just listen. It was like she did not even have a grade book in front of her. I really liked that feeling. As well as my confidence as being a speaker improving, I felt my understanding of people improved as well. Being in the audience had an interesting feel. I would be listening to all the speakers scheduled for that day, and even though we had guide lines to follow I saw all their personalities, and this is where it felt like we were more so friends, and no longer just classmates.
Also as an audience member, I find myself thinking to myself about their mistakes, and thoughts in my head like, “oh, I wonder if I did that? ” or as if I had a grade book in front of me. This was something even after I already spoke on behalf of my speech I found myself doing sometimes. Being in the audience was not only a time to take a breather, but a way of learning about our mistakes and needed improves. “Uhm, ah, lets see… like… ” yeah, my pauses! I hated them, they were one of my biggest problems. I just remember our teacher saying, “Own your speech! ” and that little bit of words of encouragement will stay with me for sometime.
As well as my pauses, my eye contact was a problem. I found myself looking as my paper a lot and I hated that feeling of not knowing what I was talking about, especially when I picked material I felt so strongly about. So as for my eye contact, I only wish I did more practice with my speeches… so I could have “owned them” as my teacher would say! When I first started I was not used to writing speeches, so I found myself (like in this essay) being overly wordy, sure that fine (to me), but when it came time for a speech day it was more of a joke reading from… ike, “why am I saying so much about this simple thing? ”
It not only wasted time, but I found myself getting caught up in my words. I hated this feeling as well. My reflection is more of a paper, so I find myself being wordy, however, a paper is more personal, especially when it’s a reflection so wordy is whatever, but I learned with speeches… no good. It is was one thing to “own” your speech and know your information, but it was another to sound like a brainy act… when who am I kidding, I could not even read what I was trying to say!
As the class comes to a close on Thursday, I have learned that whether listening to a lecture as a student in a classroom, or simply being member in the audience for a speaker; as well as for taking my shot at being a public speaker in Mrs. Hollins speech class, I have learned a great deal from both points of view. So the next time, I am speaking in a classroom, attend a job interview, or hopefully I am presenting a tribute to someone I hope to remember all that I have learned now, and use these life skills from the course to my advantage.
So as I end this reflection, I just want to thank you, Holly as you read this and let you know that there was an impact you make on your students and I was no exception. I hope you the best, and I will look forward to any speech oriented events or projects now, thanks to your efforts and simply your push, I will always look back on this course as an opportunity that I did not pass up on. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas break and I look forward to seeing you around campus soon!