“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders”- Tom peters. This quote inspires me because I strive each and every day to be a leader to those around me. I do not want those that learn from me to be followers I hope that I inspire them to become their own leaders. During this course I have improved in many aspects pertaining to public speaking. I have improved on my poor eye contact, shaky hands, and I have become less reserved and shy. These improvements are identical to my CIP paper because in the beginning of the year I told myself that those were the goals and qualities that I wanted to work for to improve over this course.
Throughout this course I have also improved among the following things: public speaking apprehension, researching skills, and persuasive speaking skills. The first improvement that I would like to discuss would be public speaking apprehension. I would say that I have improved in this aspect because on my last speech compared to my first speech I was much less fidgety and swayed a lot less. In my last speech I planted my feet like a tree as Ms. Shanna always says and tried to move occasionally when I made transitions. I also tried to stop myself from saying “like” and “as” a lot; I know that we do not get points taken away for this but it is something that I myself wanted to work on and improve upon.
The second objective that I believe I have improved upon significantly would be my researching skills. Before this class I could find academic resources but not in the easiest way possible. Now I am fully capable of using the library database and really any other database to find academic sources to back up my points for my speech or any paper that I have to write. I have also learned how to correctly cite and orally give a citation in a speech or in a paper. This is something that is essential because it is something I will have to use for the rest of my life while giving public speeches. It is important to cite your work so that you are not plagiarizing and so that your audience gains will believe you because you’re your credibility statement and because of the person that you have and the impact that they have on the world. For example, doctors, professors, authors, these are all people that can be credible for a source.
The third objective that I have improved upon would be the persuasive speaking skills. I have learned the correct way to give a persuasive speech and exactly what a persuasive speech needs to obtain in order for it to be great and for others to go and do what you are persuading them to do. For example, I learned that in a persuasive speech you need to have Toulmin’s model which consists of a claim, evidence, evidence credibility, a warrant, and a qualifier and rebuttal. You need all of these factors for it to be considered Toulmin. In every persuasive speech you also have to state the opposing sides view, but sell your view as the right way to go and with using this Toulmin’s model I have learned how to affectively give a persuasive speech and make my audience want to be on my side while still hearing the opposing sides view.
Like anyone else, I am not perfect and there are some things that I did not improve upon that I wish I had. One of those things would be my nervousness. I believe that this is something that I really do not have much control over but over the course of this class I believe it improved slightly because the more that I get to know those I am speaking in front of the less nervous I get. On my last speech that I gave I felt that I moved around less and was less fidgety. There were also other factors that dealt into me being less nervous as my speeches went along. The more that I went over my speech before I actually gave it made me more confident when giving my speech because I knew exactly what I was talking about. It also helped that I would do some anti stress activities before giving my speech such as taking a deep breath, and drinking hot tea right before to calm my nerves.
In conclusion, I believe that I have improved amongst many of my flaws that I had at the beginning of this course. I set goals after writing my CIP paper to improve upon my poor eye contact with my audience, shaky hands during my speech, and being so reserved and shy. I tried my best to work on these three habits along with other things I learned that I could improve upon during the course of this class. This class has taught me many things I will be able to use in my future here at Illinois State not just in a speech class but in all my classes and with my communication skills in general. With all of this being said “All speaking is public speaking whether it’s to one person or a thousand” – Roger Love.