Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Emotionally Drained

Have you ever felt nervous, embarrassed, or teary-eyed all at once? Those were the emotions my peers and I dealt with this day. 

Public speaking was introduced to the class by Professor Jen Madden. The first half we went over the pros and cons of how to present ourselves. Things we should take into consideration are eye contact,  posture, and physical appearance. There were more qualities, but I think these three are the most important.

Without eye contact, the audience may think you're not engaged or can sense that you are nervous. Too much contact can make the person you're looking at feel uncomfortable and everyone else to be left out of your speech. So when presenting, it is best to scan at everyone's faces for a few seconds. The way you stand or have your arms placed can either have a positive or negative effect. Standing tall with your shoulders relaxed and arms down by your side can show people your confidence, give them the impression that you are sure of what you're talking about, and that you are easy to approach. Arms crossed and body slouching may come off as you don't care or that you are bored. Hands on the hips make you seem aggressive and that you are an authority figure that looks down upon your crowd. As a woman, I have to be careful about what I wear and my make-up. People forget 85% of what a person says and can focus more on how tiny the skirt is, the low cut shirt, or the pounds of make-up caked on a person's face instead of what they are trying to address. Simplicity is key when you present yourself. 

The second half of class we were split into three groups to practice our public speaking. I was terrified since we didn't know what topic we were supposed to talk about and we only had exactly one minute to prepare. It reminded me much of the speech I did at Mistral. My speeches are said with assurance, but inside I'm trying to figure a strategic way to get out the room. After I was done, my peers gave me constructive feedback. They said eye contact was good and they appreciate that I paused to recollect my points when I lost my train of thought. They suggested that I should take deep breaths before I speak and I shouldn't rush into it. I agreed and my heart finally relaxed as I returned to my seat.

Diversity was the topic for our Community Hours. There was an activity we did where the TA's asked us questions and if they apply to us, we would step into the center from our formed circle. Intimate questions about what we deal with from a day to day basis were summoned. A strict rule we have is confidentiality, so I can't elaborate on the details on what were the questions. Sometimes I didn't know whether I should step in or not because I thought I was going to be the only one that applied to that category. At the end of each question I was able to stay faithful to myself and decided to step in. I was surprised to see that others were dealing with the same situations and it made me feel like I had a deeper connection even though we are from different parts of the world. Seeing that there were similarities in the room opened my eyes.

My perspective of the things around me are changing. Most of the things in my life are taken for granted and I'm so happy that I came to the realization that I should appreciate it more before it's too late. I'd like to say a special thank you to my family who is always there for me and for encouraging me to do anything I set my mind on. They have surrendered and is still willing to surrender anything for me to achieve my goals and to have a successful life. I LOVE you guys and happy birthday mom! (:

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