Speaking with

It’s easy to think of public speaking as a solitary act. Probably largely because when you’re the one presenting, you feel like all eyes are on you, all the pressure is on you, and often you’re alone up there.
But I believe it is important to look beyond the person speaking. You cannot do this in a vacuum. There’s an audience that you have to be connecting with and building a relationship with. It’s kind of a thing.
This tangentially occurred to me in a Reacting to the Past class. For those of you unfamiliar with Reacting, it is a pedagogic approach where students are assigned historical roles and reenact important historical moments. In any case, a student voiced concern about her public speaking ability. The professor reassured her that commitment to her role, historical accuracy, and goals within the game would help her forget these insecurities.
When facing public speaking, it is easy to think of the speech act itself as the end all. This is, however, rarely the case. You’re presenting on something, to someone (many people), for some reason.
This is similar to the essay writing process for me. “Oh mannnn–I have to write an essay. Ugh. This is gonna be horrible,” I think. However, once I really concentrate on and explore my topic, the self-doubt and procrastination are both allayed.

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