Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

The title relates to Sirius, the dog star and its relation to the sun, actually. I always thought of dogs lying around in the heat of July and August. Take your choice. What I have been noticing lately is nothing to do with dogs or stars or sultry days. It is how few people are good at speaking on YouTube!

I really enjoy watching YouTube to get information about various things. Some few people are really good at talking and demonstrating. I think they are better when they do have an actual object to talk about. It's when the person begins talking to introduce themselves and explain what they are going to talk about. It seems to go on and on. Sometimes they are hard to understand for some reason - I mean they either have accented English or mumble or drone. Not everybody is a good speaker. Thank goodness for those who delve right into the thing they were going to say! And a few breaks are good.

What is even worse is to be sitting in a meeting and have speakers who go on and on.....and on. The last one I recall went on for over three hours and I think that was the one that made me vow not to go to any more of this type. The chairs were metal with a thin covering and they began to bite into my posterior. Torment! Some people are just not good at public speaking. It almost seems that those are the people who get up and insist on doing it! The worst offenders just ramble on as though the audience were hanging on every word. They take a long time to get to the point. I'm the kind of person (at least I am, now,) who just wants the facts, some nuggets of information that are useful. I really don't want to hear a long anecdote about how you did this or that, or your uncle did it. Not unless you have the genius of Sid Caesar or Jackie Gleason (and they are not with us anymore.) Once schools had a subject called "Elocution," (actually before my time), but I believe this was to teach students to speak clearly and properly. A very useful trait.

It makes me think of how writers also need to "get into" their subject and not also go on and on needlessly. It's something that is called "information dumping." We are advised to write active stories. It's a gift and not every writer has it, but maybe, just maybe, we can learn to be better at it. I surely hope so. I very much admire writers (and speakers) who have mastered this.

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