Speech is like golf

April 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

The following is an excerpt from my reflective paper written after reading chapter 12 the Art of Public Speaking by Stephen Lucas.   I thought maybe it would be good to share. As I read the chapter about good delivery I found myself overwhelmed.  It seems like a lot of things to work on within the short span of a college quarter.

As I read through the chapter’s main points, my mind flashed back to when my father was learning to play the game of golf.  He read books on the subject, sought the advise of seasoned golfers, practiced at home, and was finally ready to play his first game.  I watched as he stepped up to the golf tee, confidently placed his ball, and scoped where the flag was and which club he needed (the driver).  He then proceed to adjust his 5’7” frame and skillfully grip his golf club, being sure to execute all the advice and knowledge he gained.

When he swung his club, it was impressive, I was so proud of him.  I was looking up in the air because, with a swing like that, the ball surelytraveled at least 300 yards.  But I had to confess to him that I didn’t see where the ball landed.  He turned back and gave me a sheepish little grin saying “Look down.”  The ball was still nestled quietly on the tee.  He made the mistake of taking his eye off the ball.  That’s when the phrase “analysis paralysis” entered my vocabulary.  He was so concerned with all the details that he forgot to do what came naturally—keep his eye on the ball and swing.

It is my understanding that the art of speaking is a learning process—one where we will not be able to execute all points to perfection.  We could easily get so wrapped up in the specifics that we overlook the common sense part of delivering a speech.  I liked what the text had to say about gestures, “Gesturing tends to work itself out as you acquire experience and confidence.”

I will choose to be patient with myself when I can’t remember all of the advice read, try to find comfort in the fact that I have prepared and practiced to the best of my ability, and hopefully, with experience and new-found confidence, the rest will “work itself out.”



Entry filed under: By Pam, public speaking, Public Speaking Delivery, Public Speaking Tips, Reflecting on Experience, storytelling, Uncategorized.

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