When my advisor told me that I was going to have to take oral communication 101, my tummy felt like I was jumping off a cliff! Then I asked her most asked question in her advising meetings, “Do we really need to take oral communication?” “Yes, it is one of the most important classes you will ever take!” was her response. I was so scared but I told myself “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Well I kept on telling myself this and I felt pretty good about this class but then… (Da, da, da, don) I walk into my class with over 50 people in it! I then thought that this is the worst thing that can happen! I didn’t want to give multiple speeches in front of all these people! Then Professor Woo walked in the door and gave us a smile. Right then I felt so much better!
After Professor Woo went over the syllabus, we broke into three groups. I was happy about that so I didn’t have to give a speech in front of all the UWSP students. Then our instructor in our group told us that we had to give an Impromptu Speech. We had 10 minutes to prepare and give a speech about ourselves. Of course I was nervous and I didn’t do as well as I think I could have done but after my speech, it occurred to me what oral communication is. It’s more than putting your thoughts out there and informing others, it’s getting over my fear of public speaking which now will help me tackle other fears that I have!
Now that I feel that I am overcoming a fear that I have, I have really been practicing to be the best speaker that I can be. First off: my voice! As Professor Woo told us, volume, pitch, rate, pause, and variety are all very important in delivering a speech. Practicing this may sound like a piece of cake but it’s harder than everyone thinks; this tedious practice of not talking too loud or too soft, or too fast or too slow, or saying “um, like, ah” in where your natural pauses should be. This is not an easy task. Also your body language makes a difference too! I have been trying to improve my movement, gestures, and eye contact. Like I said before, IT’S NOT EASY! You can’t move too much because it would distract your audience, or not looking at your audience would question if you’re even creditable for your presentation, etc. But practice makes perfect! I hope.
I am actually starting to like this class and it’s pretty enjoyable! Overcoming your fear is something that you will never forget! I am now understanding that this class will help everyone in the long run no mater what field your going into! And yes, we all should take oral communication!