Thinking back to when I was younger, the first time that I did any type of public speaking was when I participated in show and tell in kindergarten. Back then the butterflies in my stomach before my turn were pure excitement; however, as I grew older the excitement changed into nervousness. Besides for my show and tell experiences all other types of presentations throughout elementary, middle, and high school were all very stressful and I would struggle throughout the entire process. When coming to UWSP and learning that we had to take a speaking class I started dreading the semester that I would have to take the class. I finally decided that now that it is my junior year and that I have to stay up in Stevens Point during winterim for basketball that I might as well get this class over with. Even though I am very nervous about all of the speeches we have to give in this short time, I am hopeful that I will improve my public speaking and figure out the techniques that help me become less nervous in these situations.
I thought that the first information we covered regarding Aristotle and his ideas of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos was very interesting and very helpful to learn about the history of communication and public speaking. It shows how important communication has always been, and will always be. There are not many beliefs that tend to hold true to the test of time; however, Aristotle’s ideas about ethos, pathos, and logos are still widely studied and used in communication around the world. It is extremely important for a speech to be logical (logos), to play to the audiences emotions (pathos), and for the speaker to have some credibility (ethos) on the topic.
The most helpful information that we have discussed in lecture, discussion, and read in the text book (in my opinion) was the steps on how to deal with the nerves before a speech. All of the tips that they gave us in the book will be very helpful tools that I will definitely put to use throughout my speech making processes this winterim. I will make sure that I prepare my outline and notecards, practice until I feel comfortable with the speech, try my best to think positively, use the power of visualization, and most importantly I will remember that my speech is not going to be perfect. In discussion one of my favorite and most nerve-wracking activities that we do are the impromptu speeches, and the impromptu introductions that we had to write and deliver in ten minutes. I feel like by gaining that experience that it has helped me become a little more confident getting up in front of people and talking, and they have given us all an opportunity to get to know each other as a class. We have only had less than a week of class together studying and practicing the different types and techniques involved in public speaking, but every day I have learned some great lessons and gotten time to practice and get feedback on my public speaking skills.