Read Your Work Aloud – Your Communication Tip of the Day from Judith Crist (via Roger Ebert)
A good speech (“presentation”) is always good for two reasons: you have something worthwhile to say, and then you say it very well. (Read this blog post, 2 Ways to Guarantee a Failed Presentation, for a refresher on these basics).
You keep working at it, to get better. So, here is your communication tip of the day: Write your speech, then read it aloud – to people who are willing to really let you have it. If you do not speak from a manuscript, the practice is the same – speak it aloud from your notes, to people who are willing to critique, evaluate, and, yes, praise.
The path-creating film critic Judith Crist taught classes on criticism at Columbia University. Steven James Snyder was one of her students, and wrote an appreciation in Time magazine that is absolutely worth reading. (Edit! your work). Roger Ebert quoted a portion. Here is the key paragraph from Roger Ebert in his tribute to Judith Crist:
“I can recall,” writes Snyder, “how obvious my writing flaws became when read aloud, as well as how illuminating it was to hear my peers twist and tear at my arguments. I also remember how three weeks in her class instantly made me a more critical reader and self-editor, leaving me much more inclined to scrutinize my own work for the flaws that she would inevitably find. Whereas other criticism instructors may have focused on the fine art of dissection, Crist was a mainstream reviewer who relished in the interaction. Anyone could have an opinion, she would tell me, and it was a critic’s responsibility to take a stand, whip up discussion, and embrace one’s ego.
“I can recall,” writes Snyder, “how obvious my writing flaws became when read aloud…” You can’t get rid of the flaws until you know them. You can hear them better when spoken aloud.
Your communication tip of the day: prepare your speech, then practice it aloud in front of some friendly, but honest, critics.
No comments yet.