Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An Attempt at Public Speaking

As much as I respect the City Council, the meetings were never my thing.  They tended to be long, tedious, and I could barely understand what was being discussed.
That being said, it was rather strange to speak in front of the Hercules City Council on Tuesday night.  Public speaking has never been my forte, but in this case, people wanted to listen to what I had to say.  Or at least, it seemed that way, and that was enough motivation for me.

I do not think I felt any nervousness as I lined up behind the podium.  Nor did I feel anything as I became next in line to speak.  But once I walked up to the microphone, stared at my speech card for ideas, I could not help but feel afraid that I would make a blunder, a careless mistake in relaying how much this opportunity meant to me.

So, I did what any good public speaker does -- speak spontaneously, from what I could feel.  Not that I had many other options, the speech that I had in my head had been thrown out of the window as soon as I walked up to the podium.

I spoke about old aspirations, first impressions, great friends, and life-changing experiences.  Being me, I always had the ending planned out, and thus, I spoke about the future, and how I cannot wait for it.

Of course, all of the ILC members from Hercules spoke in front of the City Council.  And as has been customary the past few weeks, the speaking portion ended with Yueming Wang's thoughts of going to Cornell next school year, as well as Mr. Charles Ramsey's reiteration of the difficult process the candidates went through, as well as the intention to attract colleges to look at "not only Berkeley and Palo Alto," but Hercules as well.
As I listened to Terilyn's conversation about who she was, Beilul's carefully prepared speech that cited her experience, and Kathleen's readiness to represent Hercules, I reflected on the past seven months, since Ms. Ishmael first called in students to meet about the Ivy League Connection.  And to be honest, despite the hard work, the pains, and the bipolar joys of these past few months, I do not think I would trade them for anything.

And I really wouldn't.


  1. Jobel,

    You all did a great job last night.

    There's a time and a place for prepared speeches but speaking from the heart is always appropriate. Rather than talking AT your audience, you want to talk WITH them. You want them to think that your comments are being addressed only at them--and you all did this so well.

  2. I really wish I could have been there to support you all. I am very proud of the students I will be chaperoning this year. I was also speaking at my graduation celebration at the same time, which prevented me from attending. When it comes to public speaking, I tend to choke up and get nervous as well. However like you mentioned speaking from the heart is the best thing you can do when nervous. That is what I feel reaches your audience best! Someone told me that no matter what you say to people they mainly remember how they feel when you are speaking.