Sorry, I know I promised a video to you, but a few things have come up. (The biggest one being the videocam on my iPhone is gone wacky.) I don’t think I’ll be able to make a video for you this weekend, so instead I’m going to ask you to do a little self-conscious exercise, in preparation for our next wave of speeches (starting 5 October).
As you interact with people over the next few days, try to pay attention to the following two things:
- how people are using gesture; how often they use them; what purpose they seem to serve; and
- how people speak physically: I mean, how they get louder and softer, how they pause or speed up or slow down.
In both cases, remember: think about the communicative function and ask yourself what purpose these (mostly unconscious) practices serve. How do they work? Are some people better than others at them naturally? How about you?
Your next speech for our class will be completely impromptu, by the way: no preparation of scripts, no preparation at all. We’re going to draw topics out of a hat. So the only thing I want you to prepare is the following:
- The next speech you do will be to explain how to do something. It will be a how-to speech. You will use gestures and your voice to convey not only how to do something, but also what steps are very important, and so on. However, for this class everyone will contribute a topic, such as “How to make a kimchi jjigae,” or “How to meet handsome men/women without going to a bar,” or “How to behave on a first date.” The topics will be randomly distributed. I urge you to think of a challenging, unusual topic. Not necessarily difficult: every person in the room should be able to talk about your topic, but at the same time, it should be something you imagine would require lots of hand gestures and careful explanation to explain to an audience.
We will distribute topics on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and proceed with speeches over the next week or two.
I hope your weekend’s been great!