Getting Over Yourself

August 28, 2012

Even if the conventions are political theater you can learn something

This morning I heard a reporter announce that she wasn’t going to cover the conventions because there’s really no news taking place. That it’s all political theater. I won’t argue with that, but if you’re serious about your speaking you probably still ought to watch. It might give you insights as to the candidate’s positions, but even if it doesn’t, it can be educational.

Do you like Mitt Romney? His wife Ann? Chris Christie?  All have different speaking styles and it’s interesting to see if you’re being swayed by that instead of by the message. Both conventions may offer ideas that are worth thinking about. Are you able to listen to the ideas regardless of whether the speaker is good at speaking or not?

Make that your mission. Because if you can figure out why you enjoy listening to some speakers and not others, you’ll make progress with your own speaking. Separate yourself from your political biases and just observe–facial expressions, pauses, length of eye contact, freedom of movement, tone of voice, appropriate inflection. Is their congruity between the message and how it’s being presented?

It’s a great couple of weeks for honing your speaking skills with such a huge number of speakers in such a short time. I hope you use this opportunity as you work to hone your skills.


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