This may surprise you, but I agree! You are absolutely correct in feeling this way. Why should you have to take a speech class? I mean, you talk every damn day right? What a stupid requirement. Just know that Professor SpeechLady is on your side. So the next time you’re sitting in my class, think back to this article and relax knowing I have your back. Here are the top 5 reasons you should not have to take a course on the unimportant skill of public speaking.
1. “The topics are fake and the class is a joke. Nobody takes it seriously.” Are you pitching a fit over one little communication class because you think it’s a joke and you think the topics are fake? You really don’t have an opinion anyway right? Who cares about war? Who cares about the cost of healthcare? Who cares about kiddie porn on the Internet? Who cares about gun control, equal rights, gay marriage, child abuse, rape, drinking and driving, texting and driving, drug dealers, gambling, and any of the laws that impact any of these things I just listed. If you care about nothing, then you won’t mind anything, including taking this class. But of course, it certainly won't benefit you to be in a class that focuses on helping people develop stronger communication skills so that they can create better arguments. I mean, what a waste of time learning how to present your thoughts in a way that could help others better understand your point of view…especially if you don’t have one.
2. “I know how to talk. People just don’t listen.” Well, if this is how you feel, who the hell am I to try to talk you in to a speech class? But here’s the conundrum – if people aren't listening, then why are you on Facebook? Why are you tweeting with all of us other twits in the Twitterverse? Why do you insist on posting your pics on Instagram? Besides, you clearly have an excellent command of the English language and know all about the communication process and how the chosen medium, the environment, frames of reference, and all of that other communication nonsense impacts your ability to send a message that would be received just as you intended. But just in case this is not your experience and the problem truly is that the people around you just don’t listen, then here’s my advice…if you’re talking and nobody’s ever paying attention or listening anyway, just stop talking all together. Save yourself hours of time each week and stay off of the social networks, stay away from social engagements, and invest your time into becoming the “cat person” who lives next door. You definitely don’t need a speech class to achieve that life goal.
3. “I’m just gonna keep it real in my interview.” You go right ahead and do that. Keep it real. Keep it real unemployed. Business leaders from pretty much everywhere (corporations, non-profits, military, government, etc.) agree that the top skills needed to be successful in the workplace are those pesky little communication skills. They’re looking for employees who have solid written, listening, and……………(wait for it)………………….speaking skills! But I’m certain that once you begin your interview and the hiring manager sees that you’re just “keeping it real,” he or she will greatly appreciate your honesty in your inability to communicate effectively. You definitely don’t need a speech class to help you with that.
4. “I know how to listen. It’s not my fault others don’t know how to talk right.” I’m sorry, what? Could you repeat that? Oh, I wasn't paying attention. But, again I agree with you! It certainly is not your fault that others have even worse communication skills than you. And why on earth would you even want to try to develop better listening skills that could help improve your business and personal relationships? And since you already know all there is to know about listening, I wouldn't want to waste your time in class discussing when it’s appropriate to use empathic listening versus critical listening. Those little bits of info would in no way ever help you since you clearly already know the concepts and how to effectively apply them.
5. “Organize my thoughts, I already do.” Is your name Master Yoda? Your autograph, can I have? Talk like this, you should not. To your audience, tailor your message. A logical flow, your thoughts should be. Know this, you already do. My class then, you do not need.
Jennifer Furlong has 25 years’ experience in the communication field and teaches communication and public speaking courses in the Savannah area. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She currently resides in Richmond Hill, Ga. with her family of canines, felines, and humans. Let's be social! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. Just look for Professor SpeechLady. See you in cyberspace.
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