Friday, September 25, 2015

On Public Speaking, Politics, the Pope... and singing a high note...

When was in high school I took a speech class with Mrs. Constance (Connie) Haugarth.
It changed my life.
I ended up taking all of her courses, and was in drama, and went to U.I.L (University Interscholastic League) contests for three years, in the areas of public speaking and drama.

I then ended up majoring in Speech (now called Oral Communications) in college.

And I taught Speech/Drama and English in Mission Junior High for three years, and then seventh grade English in Aledo, TX Junior High (now called Middle School).

In learning about speech making, I learned it is often more how you say something than what you say.
What a pity.
Substance should trump style.

Speaking of Trump... he has no lack of confidence when it comes to public speaking...

And Bernie Sanders has no lack of confidence either...

Both Trump and Sanders use extremely loaded language... to rally their troops.

What Trump doesn't tell you (among other things) is specifically how he will deal with other rogue nations.
Right. He shouldn't be specific... but he should tell us something.

And what Sanders doesn't tell you is that in his zeal for the poor and downtrodden he will spend trillions of dollars we don't have... leaving future generations in much more debt than ever.

But those guys rally the crowds.

But they don't rally yours truly.

But public speaking expertise has value.

Well, Barack Obama's keynote address, which he did so eloquently at the Democratic convention in 2004, catapulted him into the spotlight, and then the Presidency.

And then I think of Pope Francis and his public speaking style.
It is just real... no fluff... but everybody is listening.
Well, he IS Pope.

In one of the speech courses I took we learned how people can be manipulated.... by grocery stores and how they place products, to what subtle background music is put in commercials, to how body language can affect people's impression of someone, etc.

A former music minister I knew well told me that a soloist can get more "Amens" at the end of a solo in church if he/she ends the song on a rousing high note.
That did NOT make me want to end a song on a high note.
It made me disgusted.

So everyone is being manipulated, I thought.

I am a cynic.

Ah, but there IS Jesus... and how he turns everything upside down: he was born in a stable, executed as a criminal, raised from the dead without anybody applauding, and ... he lovingly enters our heart when we ask him to.   And he lives in us forever.   WHOA.

So maybe I'm not a cynic.

But I AM wary of the smooth talkers out there.

A new poll is up (upper right).
If you can, please vote.


Myra Johnson said...

A very insightful post, Nancy! I am leery of smooth-talkers, too.

And it was fun to recall those years in Mrs. Haugarth's classes! I'm still not a fan of public speaking, but thanks to what I learned in speech class and drama club, I can manage pretty well when the need arises (as long as I have a script to follow!).

Nancy said...

Myra, that you would comment on my meager blog means A LOT.

And it was a great comment.


Lauren Chevalier said...

Quickly this site will indisputably be famous among all blogging people, because of its fastidious articles or reviews.

Crazy girl said...

This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. Media coach

My hometown...

I am thinking of my hometown now. Mission, Texas. And McAllen, Texas. And Mercedes, Texas, where I was born. And Donna, Texas, so near there...