During class on Thursday, each group had to present their Twine presentations in front of the class. This event made me very happy that I am not a shy person and that I love to talk in front of people. Earlier in the semester, discussed as a class about how the “red room” directed all attention in the room towards the center, so that the person speaking has the focus of everyone in the room on them, but you really do not know how this feels until you are up there speaking. I walked with my group up to the podium and before I began speaking, as my group basically decided that I would do the talking (because we had a one minute time limit we did not want to all be talking and interrupting each other), I took a look around the room and was a little intimidated. See, up to this point I have done quite a bit of public speaking, as following my senior year in high school I had to make speeches all around New England when receiving various academic and athletic awards, and some of these events had well over a hundred people at them, so I grew comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Still, as I looked around the room before making the presentation, all my experience vanished for about a second as what felt like sixty pairs of eyes all focused directly on me. I regained my composure and presented our Twine without any problems. As I sat down in my seat and another group took the stage, I began to feel very sympathetic for those in the class, and there must be some, who are not comfortable speaking in front of the class or in public. When we discussed the red room before, we were focusing on what the experience of the room was like for people sitting in the crowd, but we did not really cover what it is like for the speaker and what that person experiences. In my prior speeches, I had stood at a podium, usually on a raised surface above the crowd, and read a speech that I had previously written. A stage is much easier to speak on, as you are looking down at the listener and they are spread out in front of you. The red room, however, does not follow this setup, as the listeners surround you on all sides but you back, which is pressed up against a wall, and they are all looking down at you, not the other way around. This creates an incredibly intimidating experience for even, I can imagine, the most professional public speaker, as this space is not like normal public speaking venues.
I also think that the red room has a huge benefit because of the level of intimidation that it offers. I believe that if you can speak in the red room when it is full of people, you are prepared to speak anywhere. While I do feel bad for those who hate or are afraid of public speaking, I think that speaking in the red room in front of a class as large as ours will definitely help to make one more comfortable speaking in public. Also, as far as I can tell based on the blog conversation that we had in class on Thursday and from our normal class discussions, this class, despite being so large, is very close and friendly, especially among the different blog groups … *Cough* BLOG 4 FOR LIFE *cough* … This means that there is not a better place to learn and practice speaking in public, as I cannot image anyone in this class being rude as someone speaks. This class does generate discussion, which in turn caused disagreements, but so far in class there has been nothing but respect and understanding during the disagreements and arguments that come up in discussion, and this will most definitely carry out to speaking in front of the class and making presentations. Even though I have experience with public speaking already, I am excited to further develop this skill as the semester continues through speaking, both in the audience and in front of it.
Also, as a side note, I thought that it was incredibly interesting to see just how different all of our Twine presentations were when presented on Thursday. Sure, there were some similarities in some of the Twines, but these were infrequent and for the most part each Twine was completely unique. I think that this reflects the diversity of the class, showing how each group came up with completely different ideas that were then made into choose your own adventure games. I think that this diversity is one of the major strengths of our class, as our discussions are so varied and have so many unique viewpoints because of the many different types of people that we have in class. Having so many people of different races, backgrounds, and beliefs, will most certainly lead to more great discussions as the class continues!