Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Day 7: Delivery as a Salad Dressing

This is the election day and I talked with Dana a little bit about it. I have watched videos of George Carlin to learn from his great talks. We agreed that George is missed to comment about this election.

We talked about building a bridge, once again. Dana asked me what aspects of my first talk in September is improved compared to the last week's video. I mentioned that the unintended body movements (e.g., hanging hands) are removed. Also, I feel my talks do not seem as boring as before; I feel passion when talking and knowing this adds more energy to my talk. This sort of passion is directly affected by the type of relation a speaker makes with their audience.  Yes, it is about building a bridge.

Assume you want to start a lecture in a classroom filled by potentially bored undergraduate students. The first step can be looking at the students while remaining silent. This might go on a few seconds until a student asks what is going on, and you can answer: ``Yes, this question was what I was waiting for to start the class''. The class has started with dialogue initiated with students! Similarly, before talking about automatons, you might show a video about 'convey's game of life' or before teaching 'Turing machines', you might talk about Alen Turing's dramatic life. Even starting a lecture with a totally unrelated topic (e.g., a picture from a recent trip of the speaker) can be helpful in making the bridge.

An essential element about being 'passionate' when talking is to respect your audience. It is hard to imagine an arrogant professor giving a great lecture. Learning in a class should be preferable a group activity which involves the instructor learning. Say ``we learn together'' rather than ``I teach you this''.

The passion in talk has a universal language. You can see someone talking in another language and yet `feel' a sort of passion without understanding the context. Similarly, you can listen to someone without looking at them and yet feel passion (an example is the crazy man in the bridge scene in Paris Texas).

I was telling Dana that context of a talk is like a salad and its delivery is the dressing. To have a good salad, both are important. Metaphors like that can be useful in engaging audience, adding more passion to the talk, and eventually having an interesting delivery of the material.

Sometimes finding the right 'words' can help in improving your delivery. For example George Carlin used a term like `100 bucks' instead of `cache' because there is  more stress, pressure on the word 'bucks'.

I talked about Grizzly man in my presentation. He was a bear enthusiast who was eventually killed by a Grizzly. It seems my body movements and energy has improved (without me monitoring them when giving the talk). It is a good sign. 

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