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Monday, April 8, 2019

Thornton P. Knowles On Public Speaking

They say a lot of people have a great fear of public speaking. Yet everywhere you look someone is giving a speech. I quit attending speaking events because so many speakers are boring as hell, and many of them don't know what they're talking about. In academia, speeches are often referred to as "talks" or "presentations." You know, Professor Blowgass will be giving a talk about his time with the Wahue Tribe in Africa. If you think that attending an academic presentation is bad, try being in the audience as a political hack running for office reveals how he or she will save the world. And perhaps even worse is sitting in a bookstore listening to an author read passages from his newest novel. Brutal. You sit there like some kid being read to by a kindergarten teacher. I've often wondered what idiot came up with the idea of the public book reading. In a perfect world, everyone would suffer from a debilitating fear of public speaking. The silence would be golden.

Thornton P. Knowles

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