Letters to Egypt (II)

I write to you, my beloved land, at a very critical time.

It is with utmost despair that I say this, but a humble citizen of yours has lost their glimmer. Their motives no longer push them forward, their dreams only remind them of the obstacles they face daily. I’m saddened by a few harsh realities that I’ve always been told but chose to ignore. I now accept these realities because there’s really no running away from them. You see, Egypt, one is at a helpless position at certain points in life, and this happened to be my point. Perhaps quite early you may argue, but it is inevitable.

Truly, I have made promises to myself. To you. But I’m afraid I’m no longer able to hope. I can only try, Egypt.

I aspired to be “it”, and we both know what that meant. I didn’t have all what it takes, but I aspired. And lost heart.

If one cannot cope or deal any longer, what could one cling to?


Public Speaking (II)

So I’ve done 2 speeches so far for this course, and I must admit that the one I did today was all right compared to other presentations that I ever did in my life.

The first speech was a story telling speech where we speak about any event in our lives to the class. The key here of course is how to story tell. We were assessed on basis of voice, animation, body language, pace, plot and characters, building up the story and creating a likable character that the audience would sympathize with. Another key point was choosing a story that would be relevant or suitable to amuse the audience and entertain them. Overall, some stories were really good, we were all nervous though. As for me, I had practiced very well for it but the first few minutes of the story were disastrous.

The one I did with my collegue today was an informative one, as the professor divided  the chapters of the book for us to present. The first speech was about the ways in which you can speak to inform and some general ideas about informative speech, the second one, which was the one I was part of, was about coming up with topics and organizing the content of the speech. The one thing we had to work on a little was giving the audience the space to understand and communicate back to us. We had some great activities and examples but we should have highlighted them better so as not to bore the people.

As a side note here are a few tips that I noted over the past few lectures:

  • Any speech can be considered persuasive because you’re usually trying to convince the audience to believe something, someone, or a fact.
  • You have to establish credibility and authority
  • Tailor the speech for the audience taking into consideration the topics that bring them together and set them apart, their interests, challenges, beliefs, backgrounds, knowledge and expectations.
  • Be very careful with jokes
  • Interact with the audience to keep them engaged
  • Inform people either in a chronological or thematic fashion
  • Incorporate stories or personal examples
  • Know what level of knowledge is in the audience so that you’re not too high or too low.
  • When in a debate, know the opposition extremely well and anticipate their arguments.
  • Use rhetorical appeals and avoid logical fallacies while debating.
  • Be organized! And let your audience have an outline for the speech
  • The most powerful argument should be the “thesis statement” of the speech
  • Remind the audience of the purpose and argument every once in a while throughout the speech
  • If you find that the audience is not interested, act and involve them immediately.
  • Exhibit many types of energies as the speech flows.

Coming up, is a debate and a formal informative speech, which we will be preparing for over the next week or so…. Can’t wait. (JK-I’m dreading it.)