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February 28, 2013 by Jackie Hoermann-Elliott

Amy Cuddy's TED Talk on Body Language

Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on Body Language

For one entire class period, every semester, we dedicate an entire lesson to public speaking. Now you might be asking yourself, “Why? This isn’t Speech Comm 212?” You’re right; it isn’t. This is English 250. But can you guess why it matters?

We could go on at length about how all writing requires you to have a strong sense of voice, of what your writing might sound like if transferred into an oral medium. In what ways would an essay turned presentation be similar? What would need to change? And better yet, how do we know when an argument is better presented as a paper versus a speech?

Start thinking through these important connections. As you do, let me give you one aspect of composing to think about, one featured on every rubric, style.

Style in public speaking is huge. Likewise, you have a personal style when you write, right? With this in mind, watch this TED  Talk on the importance of body language: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html.

What did you connect with in this presentation? How might you revise your public speaking style based on the presenter’s argument? What do you think you do well or what about your style might you keep the same? Write it out in a blog post.

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