A Somber Presentation: Public Speaking in Action   Leave a comment

Most would assume that Communication majors would naturally possess the ability to give a good speech.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  One of the most important qualities that an individual could master is the art of rhetoric, or public speaking.  It makes sense that Public Speaking is one of the prerequisite courses required for any student that wishes to study in the Knight School of Communication.  Dr. Marcy was an incredible professor; he always maintained an air of kindness and warmth that shone through his speeches.  He was very encouraging; pushing his students to their comfort zones, and then a little bit further.  Dr. Marcy would develop a number of assignments that required his students to think about their responses with a moments notice.  These topics were usually random, varying in a number of scenarios.  Even if a student had trouble in coming up with a speech, Dr. Marcy was always encouraging and did his best to help them write their own speech. 

      I took Dr. Marcy’s Public Speaking class in my freshmen year; one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.  This helped me understand the components of a good speech: What is the occasion for the speech?  Who is my audience?  What is expected from my speech?  These are all important things to consider before delivering a presentation of any kind.  I have always been able to portray my thoughts into prose, but this class helped to prepare me for one of the most difficult things that I have ever had the displeasure of having to do- delivering my mother’s eulogy.

      When my mother passed away, the funeral home director helped my father and I plan the event.  One of the things that we discussed was who was to deliver the eulogy.  My dad looked to me, and squeezed my shoulder—his way of volunteering my services.  When I was trying to think of what to write, I could vividly remember what Dr. Marcy had taught me, “If your audience is going to take away one thought from your speech, what would you want that thought to be?”  This advice helped me in more ways that I could ever put into words.  When it was time for my presentation, I couldn’t think of any way that I could possibly deliver.  However, I rose to the occasion, and I thanked my mother for everything that she had done for me. 

            I am glad that not many people have had to deliver the same speech that I had to.  To this day, I still do not know how I came up with the words that expressed my pain, but even when I was most vulnerable, I remembered my lessons with Dr. Marcy.  After giving the eulogy, I realize that I am capable of talking about anything.  Whether it is a presentation of my internship experience, or it is a presentation outlining my findings in Capstone, my experiences and the education I received from the Knight School of Communication have given me an incredible gift. 

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Posted February 21, 2013 by Big Man in Capstone Reflections

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