Monday, March 16, 2009

BufBloPoFo 09 Day03

Here are the things I thought about posting for today’s bufblopofo topic:

How To Make A Banana/Strawberry Jam/Waffle Sandwich (lots of butter)
How To Hang Toilet Paper (away from the wall)
How To Beat Dragon Warrior For The NES (just keep leveling up)
How To Make A March Madness Bracket (flip a coin)
How To Lose 40 lbs (stop eating banana/strawberry jam/waffle sandwiches)
How To Not Embarrass Yourself Grammatically

That last one was my frontrunner, because I’m something of a grammar nerd. (Don’t worry – I don’t mind when other people eff up, I just get all clammy whenever I think I might have made some stupid mistake.) BUT THEN, just this morning, someone had to point out that I’ve been misusing “extant” and “extent” for years. Well, the glass shattered and THAT blogging topic will have to wait until I can build up a full head of grammar nerd steam again.

Instead, today, I is going to talk about something that scares the ever-living heebie jeebies out of people: public speaking.

I love an audience. It’s why I was an actor, and one reason I became a litigator. (That, and, you know, a paycheck.) But public speaking isn’t just speaking publically, at least not for most mortals. It’s tough, and there’s a reason it’s more feared than death.

But there is a pretty easy secret that’ll help any orator immensely. Ready for this? Here it is: Slow it. The eff. Down. The first rule to being a good public speaker is to calm down, take a breath, and speak slowly. If you take a second to catch your breath, I know, it feels like an eternity, but to the audience it really isn’t that big a deal. And frankly, they’d rather have you calmly say whatever the crap it is you’re trying to say, even if it takes a little longer to say it.

That said, the other side of that coin is just about as important: Orator, Know Thine Audience. You know how people tell you to ignore the audience, or picture them in their underwear? Fuck that noise. See, good public speaking isn’t just a one way road. It’s a conversation. It’s a back and forth. The reason I bring this up is because it is possible to slow it (the eff) too far down. You need to be cognizant of their reaction, and you need to react accordingly.

Which brings me to my third and last point: practice, practice, practice. “Reacting accordingly” isn’t something you can figure out how to do by reading one post from a dipshit who can’t remember how to spell “extent.” Rule number three is to practice. Practice projection, practice articulation, learn the words to stay away from (I’ll never say the word “particularly” if I can help it) and learn how to read your audience.

And don’t talk while your mouth is full of banana/strawberry jam/waffle sandwich.

BufBloPoFo Topic for Day 4:

After I had to pull double duty for Lisa yesterday, I made her come up with a topic for tomorrow’s post. Here's what she sent me:

Mike, for tomorrow, I think everyone should use their blogs to brag about something. And it can't be your kids or significant other because Katie said she doesn't want to read about that crap.


Bryan Mahoney said...

Dragon Warrior rules.

mollymaureen said...

I love that you are all blogging everyday.... and I am not. Thus all I need for perfect procrastination sits in the hands of strangers at their computers typing their little hearts out for days and days on end. Thank you Mike. And my students thank you as well, because I am not grading their papers.