After a long week of listening to speeches, I think that we are all reminded of something: giving a speech in front of a crowd of your peers can be simultaneously fulfilling and nerve-wrecking. On one hand, it feels great to be able to share our experiences and our viewpoints on issues, while on the other hand one feels judged by everything from one hair being out of line to a small, almost unnoticeable stutter.
I think that this was a particularly difficult assignment. Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying that it’s difficult to prepare a three minute long speech, but rather it is just cruel to tell someone to find something that they would love to talk about and only give him three minutes to do so. I know, personally, I would feel much more fulfilled speaking for, at the very minimum, five minutes so that I can properly inform people about my topic, while still giving people the chance to feel engaged by it. I do understand that five minutes would give people all too much time to ramble on, but rambling and straying off-topic is in the fault of the speaker, not in the structure of the assignment.
I truly enjoyed all of the speeches that I heard, except for the speeches that felt like someone had basically read someone’s entire biography and briefly followed it with the statement “therefore he/she is civic.” I felt like people brought with them the exact enthusiasm necessary to engage the audience. People who were more passionate about the topic seemed to be more casual in their approach and therefore more involving in their delivery, while people who were more calculated about their speeches tended to feel more aggressive and caused the audience to distance themselves. Overall, I have truly enjoyed the whole experience and I cannot wait to give my speech this week.