Personal Communication Profile
Public speaking is an activity that most Americans engage in at one time or another. Communicators speak on the job, at school, and at social gatherings. Some of these speakers find themselves in front of audiences and find it a frightening experience. It has been estimated that up to 20% percent of Americans suffer from sever speech anxiety. In fact, in surveys of the most significant fears of Americans, public speaking most often ranks in the top ten along with the fear of heights, water, closed spaces, death, spiders and the dark. I believe I participated in most of those surveys. I am quite comfortable letting "George" do it, let the other person do the up-front speaking. I can easily sit back and hope my feelings are conveyed in the speech someone else is giving. Hopefully this course will help reduce the fear and anxiety I feel when I address a congregation.
I have taken several speech classes and given numerous presentations but I find I still must force myself to stand in the front and then I must challenge myself to relax.
The ability to speak well in the public arena is important in a democratic society. It is through the public presentation of ideas that citizens come to understand the issues important to the nation. It is also through speeches and debates that those citizens forge new ideas. All of us can readily identify famous speeches like the Inaugural Address that contained the now famous statement, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." (John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1960) Throughout the thousands of political speeches given during our country's history, there might not be a better anthem for political participation on an individual level. After letting JFK's...