Freewrite. What a mean thing to subject me to? Really! Is this how one becomes a writer? Freewriting your way to 500 words. It’s just like the lady I spoke to the other day. She rambled for a long time and said nothing but a whole lot of words.
I have prided myself on my brevity in words. Say what I need to in as few words as possible. In fact, my first sermon was 8 minutes long. This being in a church that was used to long-winded preachers. I have sat through many long-winded sermons and been bored silly, especially after the preacher starts recycling his point and says it thirty different ways from the way he said it the first time.
Much like politicians and journalists. Oh wait, I have done both. I was a journalist for the student newspaper at STU. I have been an NDP candidate. Am I to be the one to ramble on for hours on end about nothing? Should I be the one to do so?
When I am comfortable with a subject, or passionate about a subject, I can wax eloquent. I can deliver a speech with a prepared text. But standing up and talking about nothing is not a skill I have developed. This is extemporaneous speaking. It requires a great breadth of knowledge to do it well. Which is a practiced skill. Something learned by doing it many times.
So yes, this is how I become a writer. Practice, practice, freewriting, doing it over and over. Choosing a topic and writing, speaking about it, putting 500 words down on paper, or 5 minutes on video. This is how I become a better writer. This is how I become a better speaker. This is I move forward in my development.
Being confident in the knowledge I have. Continually reading and accumulating and then practicing writing off the cuff, speaking without a script, doing things I am not accustomed to doing. These will let me improve.
Listening to music, reading books, getting into situations that force me to make small talk are ways I can help develop myself. Hiding behind my introverted personality needs to be a thing of the past.
Learning to speak just enough, without boring the listeners. Keeping the topic interesting, without overwhelming with information overload. These are things to learn. How and where to learn.
Spending time simply typing without stopping to edit the words, the spelling. Editing comes later. Editing is important, but learning to spill the words off my fingers, my tongue is important if I am to succeed as a writer, a speaker, a politician.
Maybe joining Toastmasters. Taking an acting course. Can you suggest other ways?
What are some of your favourite ways to practice speaking? Does speaking to the mirror work? Would setting up my camera and talking into it work?
Just some of the ways I can think off. If you have others, please share them in the comments. Or send me an email douglas (dot) mullin (at) gmail (dot) com, subject speaking practice tips. I look forward to learning how other practice.