The Pain of Facing Oneself

I've had to deal with a lot of pain this week, but nothing hurts like watching oneself after being videotaped.
As part of my Communications class this semester, we had to give a quick introduction of ourselves. The class, entitled Perspectives on Human Communication is not solely about standing up and giving delivery, however no communication class would be complete without the ability to stand up and talk in front of an audience. The painful part is having to watch my delivery and then compose a brief summary of how I did, and where I can improve.



Thanks to the advent of digital technology, my actual talk was able to be recorded and uploaded to the Web in a matter of minutes. It's intriguing, especially since my focus for participating in Communication classes is to further enhance my understanding of human communication and how they will eventually relate to digital technology and the message of the Church. So part of this project was actually cool: it presented me with the reality of what is capable with modern technology, and that a person's manifesto or simple introduction can be quickly uploaded onto the Web with little difficulty. (I had the ability to RSS this actual talk, however since other classmates were involved with this project, I decided it was best to limit the internet exposure to only me.)

But there is a pain in watching one's self give an impromptu delivery, even if it's in front of a few classmates. And it's magnified when you have to sit down, watch it, and then reflect on  your performance. This is part of my homework that is due on Friday.

Looking at my strengths, I have no fear of talking in front of a group of people, regardless of the size. It's taken me a while to get to that point, but after giving so many talks and being asked to discuss my vocation with numerous groups and people, I don't get shy about being in front of an audience anymore. I am also able to feed off of the audience. If they laugh at a joke, I know I'm doing well. If no one is looking at me, I know I need to work harder at getting/keeping their attention.

And of course, there are areas where I could use work: I tend to use "uhh" and "umm" a lot, especially when I'm trying to complete a thought. The number of these sounds increases with the lack of preparation for a given event. For a graded speech, I usually go over the speech numerous times, with the Powerpoint going at the same time, to ensure I'm giving a seemless presentation. For a quick introduction speech, I sorta winged it...and you could tell by the number of "umm's." I'm also very comfortable in front of large groups: I think I was the only one not fiddling with their hands or holding on to something for security. I don't know if that's good or that's bad, but from this picture I look like I'm talking about something non-chalant; I don't look like someone who's being graded on their performance.

This class will present numerous challenges and opportunities for me, especially since the orations are only part of the class. On the syllabus, part of our grade will involve work on the Web - an area where I feel I have a comfortable head-start.

So after dislocating a shoulder, I'm pretty sure that having to watch myself give a speech was more painful than having the doctor reset the joint.

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1 Response to The Pain of Facing Oneself

January 21, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Take your hand out of your pocket. ;-)