Practise what you preach
(Waaa! Spelling Crisis! Should this title be practice or practise?)
I had to give a talk today. It was about being a Christian in the workplace – which is ironic, considering that I am on a career break… but never mind. I’m in work almost weekly for various spurious reasons, and I am going back for real before I know it 🙂
And, truth be told, it is part of my job to teach people how to give talks. So, as you’d expect, I know how to do it.
But it’s different in practice.
No matter how much I know I need to slow down and speak clearly, I have an inner compulsion to speak at very high speed, juddering away like a verbal machine gun, fully aware that I am doing it.
If I read my talk out, I can do it slowly. But then it’s not a talk, it’s a “read”. And there’s something about read things that make them different to follow than someone just speaking.
I think my rapidity is a result of a fear that I have too much to say and that before I get to the main thing, the mic will get swiped from me for the next person. Or I have some belief that people will get bored if I go on for too long so I’d better get it over with – this probably stems from my own experience of wishing people would get to the point.
The good thing was that there was a decent microphone, so I figure it was all picked up, even if it was a bit of a blur.
I was also annoyed with my structure, which was okay – but had I not been laid low with the cold for the best part of the week – I could have worked on it.
Never mind – I think it was okay 🙂
However, putting my knowledge of how to give a talk into rushed practice gives me a bit more sympathy with the people whose talks I listen to.
And I listen to a lot of talks and am hypercritical, generally.
I should slow down and learn the things I know. That would be sensible.