February 19th, 2005

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02:32 pm - wow. that was fucking horrible.
I had my Informative Speech this morning - one of the three big speeches for my SPCH 140 class.  And boy oh boy, I tanked like a fucking M-1 Abrams.

I made the mistake of making my speech on Understanding Nuclear Power - which, really, isn't that damn hard to do.  Problem is, you have to want to understand - and if you don't, you aren't gonna.  Boy oh boy, did they not want to.

Honestly, I kinda knew I was fucked the minute I walked in... because half the class was missing.  Which half?  The half that were in CS or Engineering.  What was left?  A couple of ESL students, the music major chick who looks at white people like they have a skin disease, the surfer dude from Jersey who acts stoned but isn't, the mousey dude who has never made eye contact with anyone (when speaking or not) the entire time we've had this class, and the Susy Homemaker who did her Informative Speech on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston's breakup.  (I'm not making that up.)

I honestly think it made it worse that I was really trying to explain my topic.  At 9 in the morning on Saturday, these folks resented being asked to understand shit.

To add insult to injury, it turns out that the one dude who was an engineering type who showed up... had decided to do his speech on Three Mile Island.  His speech went a hell of a lot better than it would have otherwise, because after seeing me tank - and having the pretense that they would already know the basics of how nuclear power worked - he cut all the theory out of his own speech, and just rattled out that a valve stuck, that the monitoring equipment sucked, and that it was a wake-up call.  Which went over a lot better, because while nobody there knew what the fuck a relief valve really was, he didn't try to explain it to them either, and they clearly appreciated that.


I talked to him later, and said how much I wished I'd known what his topic was going to be, because I'd have cut the scope on mine DRASTICALLY if I had.  And he confirmed how glad he was that I'd gotten the theory out of the way before him (which he had no way of knowing ahead of time either).

That, or I wish he'd gone first.  Oh well... lesson learned.  Next time, I'll make damn sure not to try to talk to a Saturday morning Speech class about anything they don't already know. =\

Current Mood: self-deprecative
Current Music: Annie Lennox - Don't Let It Bring You Down (It's Only Castles Burning)

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


From: agentsteel53
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 11:35 am

From: (Anonymous)
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 12:10 pm

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 01:01 pm
One student does evaluate your speech; although I don't know if that has any impact on the grade itself or not. I don't know how much the instructor is likely to take audience reaction into account; to be honest there was very very little interest shown for any of the speeches.

I don't really think I "failed" or anything grade-wise; in fact I'd be pretty surprised (and dismayed) if I got as low as a C. I'm just, well, holding myself to a higher standard - I've been selling (and supporting) very very technical products to very very non-technical people for a long time now, I'm not used to not being able to catch and maintain audience interest even when they didn't expect to be very interested.

I'm not kidding when I say these people really seemed to resent being asked to actually follow the material.

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 01:04 pm
addendum: and I got pretty flustered and disoriented, at least by my own standards, towards the end of it as a result. Which is DEFINITELY likely to impact my grade (though I really wouldn't expect to any worse than a B) where the audience reaction itself, by itself, might not.

I definitely got through the material. I also definitely wound up letting them see me sweat by the end of it. It did not make me teh happy.

From: (Anonymous)
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 01:27 pm

From: cfisaac
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 05:31 pm

Man I know what you mean........

I had to give a reporting speech on a new cultural experience, so I came up a kick ass speech on attencing my first NASCAR race, so I get through my intro which is witty and clever then I get through my first main point, no prob, then I freeze, for THIRTY FUCKING seconds and jump to my conclusion, then I sit down like an beaten child. I don't know what happen but what makes it worse is that fact that the prof is so random and scatter brained that the tests are killing me so I have to great on the speeches, so I may fail speech if I continue to tank.

[User Picture] From: bitchness
Date: February 20th, 2005 - 12:38 pm
Ditto, most of the folks in my speech class last year bonded really well. The only exceptions were the one or two sports scholarship boys who very obviously didn't want to take the class and were pissed that it was required of them.

[User Picture] From: anyaatl
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 11:14 pm
Lawdy..a Saturday morning class!!!??? I feel for ya, brother*lol*

She did NOT do an informative speech on the break-up of some celebrities!! I'm speechless. I woudl love to know what sources she cited! People, US, or Cosmo magazine or whatever? *lol*

[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: February 19th, 2005 - 11:20 pm
Yes, she did. And yes, People was one of her sources. I frankly forget the other two.

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