Through out the course of the semester, I learned a numerous amount of things having to do with public speaking. Each speech had its own challenges and unique style to it. From the first one which mostly had to do with just basic public speaking, learning to use slides and time restraints, to the last speech which brought everything we learned in class together.
When I first began this class I pretty much had no idea what to expect except that I knew I would be speaking in front of the class. I never really had a problem with that since I did theater all four years of high school, but I never did it in a presentation style. Using power points while speaking was new to me which was one of the areas I think I really needed help with coming into this class. The timing was always troubling for me because I would get so caught up into my speeches that I would forget to switch the slides, but I found it easier to make a note in my outline when I should change the slide to prevent that from happening.
As for other areas, I think I improved on them in every speech. I remember in my first speech I rarely made eye contact with the class and/or used very little gestures. More or less, I just was reading off a paper with slides in the background which I believe to be very uninteresting. As we did more speeches within the class, I made it a point to improve in that area by relaxing and just letting my speech flow more naturally. It must have worked because my grades did get better. My delivery always seemed to be consistent because I had practice with that in high school with the theater program. They taught me how to project my voice and use my diaphragm instead of my lungs.
The assignments that were given were very helpful in developing on my public speaking skills. They were very clear and if something was unclear you did a good job in letting us know what was expected for any given assignment. Even if there were problems with the assignment you usually would let us have extra time on it (if turnitin.com was acting funky).
Overall this course taught me a lot in public speaking. I learned new terms that apply when speaking such as certain positions one can be in when speaking (the poses). It also was less difficult to do the assignments because you were very lenient on the topics that we had to do our speeches on. You more or less let us have fun with it and because of that, I believe the speeches within the class were creative and unique for the most part.
I also learned how to turn my nervousness into positive energy when speaking. Remembering back to the first speech I kind of stumbled in the beginning due to the fact that I was nervous, but now that has changed. Things seem to flow more smoothly in my later speeches and almost no stumbling occurs now. I believe the reason for this change has to do for many reasons. First, I turned that nervous energy into positive energy and used it to help my speech flow. I also got to know everyone at a more personal level at the end of the class than from the beginning. When I first got up there for my first speech I knew no one and had no idea what to expect. After watching everyone else’s speeches and getting familiar with who these people were, I felt a lot less nervous.
In the end I really enjoyed this class and it was a very fun learning experience that will help me later on in life, especially in business.