Only one of my classes this semester is not in the journalism track.
And Public Speaking 1200H is exactly as it sounds — designed to seek out and destroy the fear of speaking in front of groups large or small, and I’m finding it really applicable to the things I’m already doing as an Assistant City Editor.
It’s not like public speaking is new to me.
The other week I spoke to a group of a couple dozen students about how to get an internship as part of a panel put on the MU chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association. Plus, I regularly speak in front of the Missourian’s newsroom full of reporters and editors and I’ve made presentations in front big classes before.
In fact, I’ve spent the last four years speaking publicly about the news and journalism behind my print byline, on my Twitter and Facebook, and right here on this blog.
So I guess it’s no surprise that learning how to be a clearer, more engaging speaker is proving to be incredibly useful for helping manage the newsroom while I’m a general assignment Assistant City Editor.
It goes toward the same kinds of skills I talked about in my last post, “Managing Down,” and my ability to work well as part of a team. I may not have to give Patton’s speech to the Third Army, but I have to be well-spoken enough to communicate clearly and thoughtfully off-the-cuff when I’m talking to reporters and other editors.
I just think it’s refreshing to see the work I’m putting into non-journalism classes paying off in the newsroom (no offense, Honors Middle Ages and Renaissance literature course).
Let’s just hope I never have to repeat the ethics and plagiarism speech I’m slated to give in the Public Speaking class to any reporters.