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Author Topic: Bad ideas when it comes to a speech.  (Read 785 times)

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Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Bad ideas when it comes to a speech.
« on: October 11, 2009, 10:04:12 PM »
Good day to everyone. Everyone that read at least one of my articles should probably notice how I like to give what I consider good tips in order to build a good speech, no matter the situation. This time I will go a little off my expertise (Philosophy of Language) and give what I consider to be bad ideas when you are trying to mount a speech.

I am going to attack just paperworks, not speeches by oral means. Otherwise I could easily explode the character limit on Elliquiy.

The terms I am using here are just terms I have created to make my theory clearer. They are based on my research, yes, but I am making those terms up to make it easier to understand.

A - Starting with a joke.

Seriously, don't do that. When you are on a presentation, starting with a joke gives the wrong idea that you are not doing something serious. Just trust yourself and do a good introduction, you won't need any jokes to call the attention. However, using a joke in the middle of the presentation, expliciting that you are going to tell an anecdote, gives everyone the idea that your theory is actually applicable in a general aspect, and it can also give the crowd a refreshment on their interest about the presentation.

B - Premature prognostics.

Nothing kills the interest better than a work that proposes to give some answer about something. It is a wonderful idea to say that you will 'attack', 'treat', 'consider' or even 'try to answer' some questions, but never work on a speech. It will sound way arrogant, and the smallest flaw on your lecture will give everyone else the perfect chance to invalidate all your work, just because they will have enough arguments to say that you were not able to accomplish your initial idea. No matter how good you build the speech, it will be a huge waste.

C - "This is what we will see"

Personally, this phrase disgust me. It resembles me of that oldschool shows for children, and it makes me imagine of a fairy saying "Let's go to a magic trip".

But in a general aspect, this idea makes all your work unnecessary, because we will just skip from the introduction to the ending. If the speech already says what it will do, so it is completely meaningless to present and validate a whole theory, unless we want to attack that theory.

This is not so different than making a premature prognostic about your own work, but the general idea differs. Premature prognostics don't make the work that irrelevant.

D - One-sided arguments/theories

This is a bad idea for the same reason that police investigations wouldn't work with only one version of the crimes. It would make everything incomplete. Yes, we have the right to have our opinions, but in a serious work we can't present just one side of the question, specially in an argumentative speech. People could easily destroy your speech by saying that this is your opinion and proving that what you think is almost the same thing that what you lectured about, so it is always good to present both sides.

Don't let this idea fool you. If you want to show both sides, make sure that the other side, meaning the side that you are not favorable to, is at least the same size - on an argumentative way - of your position. However, if you work out seven pages of one version to one page of the other, the primary focus of you work will be lost.

This is actually a very delicated issue, and it is very hard to work it off.

E - Using facts as arguments

You can use theories and demomnstrations to prove your point, but using facts is an argumentative harakiri. There is always, I repeat, ALWAYS, something in a fact that is questionable and can ruin the theory. If you say, for example, that a pen will fall to the ground if you drop it, someone can place a pen above a table and let it fall on the table, and turn your example into a very questionable thing.

My favorite idea to reinforce that is the old example that the sky is blue because we see it blue. If you say that, specially in my area, the Cartesians will eat you alive, using the old theory that what you see isn't necessarily the truth. If you like movies, remember the first Matrix movie, where Morpheus explains about the world to Neo and how what your eyes receive isn't quite the truth.

Cogito Ergo Sum for you, cartesians.

F - Using formations as arguments

Also known as "This theory is validated because it was told by John Doe, doctor of the University of Nowhere". It seems uncommon, but people do that a lot. There are several negative implications from that hideous idea. First, it will give people the idea that you don't have personality. Second, people may think that you won't be able to stand for what you are presenting, because it will make it look that you want to shove the theories right down their throats. And third, specially inside a debate, if someone manages to prove that the formation isn't relevant (which it isn't, actually), then it will break all your work and throw it down the toilet.

G - Defining values of 'right' and/or 'wrong'

Nietszcheans will love this part. If you define what's right and what's wrong, no matter the conception, you will be eventually forced to use the argument of values, which consists of definitions in general conceptions, like laws, religion, culture, things considered unquestionable. However, just by the examples we may see how risky this is. If you define right and wrong be sure that you will be attacked by the Argumentum ad Hominem.

H - Giving all the answers

This is not actually a mistake. This is more like an act of imprudence. First, giving all the answers will give everyone enough openings to attack every part of your speech, specially if they are Heideggerians (refer to my first post on E blogs to see conception of giving answers). But, if they don't attack your work all around, they won't do anything. If you give all the answers, there is nothing to think about what you said, and any mistakes will invalidate everything you said, like all the others examples.

The best idea to do here is to give what you think it would be an answer, and let it open to debate.

I - Not giving any answers

It is nice and even 'fluffy' to debate about something, but you need to get somewhere eventually. Then, if you are going to attack a theme, you must give something as a conclusion. After all, you are not writing a sequel to the neverending story, right?

J - Too much generalization

It is understandable to try to create a general view of your article. However, there will be the part where those who don't study the specific theme will be able to follow you. It is a good idea to guide them inside the subject matter, but it is not good to hold their hand all the time. There is a phrase that says "The specific always defeats the general". No matter your ideas with your speech, they will all be a waste of time. Yours and the others on your area.

K - Too few generalization

The same phrase from before applies to this one: The specific always defeats the general. If you don't give a wide review of what you are talking about, people will lose interest, even those who understand fully about what you are lecturing about. Few people will actually follow you, and your work won't probably last long.

There is a common mistake here, where people think that an introduction could solve this problem. The good way to avoid this is to give a brief definition of anything you introduce on your speech, no matter how simple you may find it. Trust me, it will give the idea that you are concerned with everyone else, and they will appreciate that.

Last, but not least, always trust yourself and let it flow inside you. No matter what you are building or working on, if you doubt yourself, you won't ever be able to reach your best levels.

By the way, I have inserted one of the bad ideas on my own post. I invite you all to find it and point it to me. And, if you don't want, feel free to add anything here.

Comment me.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 02:35:56 PM by Battle Shambler »

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Bad ideas when it comes to a speech.
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 02:36:22 PM »
Post update: Added two items I forgot on the original post.