Given my failure to do the mid-speech three-stomp to signal the important points, I thought I’d offer a blog recap of what I covered in class today. First, remember the three big reasons good speech communication skills are worth developing:

Communication and Your Professional Life: To get work, to keep work, and to do your work right, you’ve got to be a communicator. You’ve got to interview well. You’ve got to listen well, to your boss, your co-workers, and your customers. You have to learn to control your emotions and communicate in ways that encourage positive interaction and keep conflicts from turning into dealbreakers (or, as I said in class, fisticuffs).

Oprah Time: Communication and Your Personal Life: Every good relationship demands good communication. If you’re having problems with your spouse, your best friend, your parents, your kids, your roommate, whomever, you’ve got to talk to each other. You’ve got to pay attention to each other. Love is all about being open and attentive to others. That’s communication. (Yes, that’s also vulnerability and risk. I didn’t say it was easy.)

Aristotle Time: Communication and Your Political Life: Remember all those words I connected here: politics, politician, polite, polis… community, common, communication. Politics is about deciding how we are to live together in community. To master life in the polis is to master polite communication.

And yes, you want to live in community. The alternative is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”


I also laid out rules for your first big speech!

  • 3 to 8 minutes (max time could be modified, depending on my calculations of time available)
  • Topic: anything you think is worth talking about to your fellow students and me. It’s your big chance! Make the most of it!
  • No scripts allowed. Don’t let a piece of paper or a computer screen stand between your message and your audience. Speak from your head and your heart.
  • Study my speech evaluation criteria; practice with them in mind.
  • First speeches happen Monday, September 28!