Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, September 20, 2013

public speaking

I don't want to do it any more. I explain why here. Feel free to dismantle my reasoning in the comments below.


  • I've done a fair amount of public speaking over the last couple of years to try to promote my book (which seemed necessary, given that I basically had no platform before the book was published), and what strikes me reading your comments is that most of my gigs have been the sort of thing you describe: The event or conference organizers, at least, and often a good number of the audience members (or at least the most vocal ones) too, had already read the book and wanted me to come and have a conversation with them about it. There has always been a lecture, but that's rarely been the main course, so to speak. It's almost always been about the conversation with me, and those are the things I remember about my trips as well, not so much the lecture themselves.

  • This is Wesley Hill, by the way. Not sure why my Google account is showing up as "Unknown."

  • A text-based mind is at odds with an orality-based mind; as a prisoner of the page many have difficulty relating thoughts on an acoustic plane; public speaking is a play, it is theatre, it is enhanced conversation...it is difficult when one spends all hours as a prisoner of text. the rules of grammar,syntax and punctuation do not apply on the acoustic level, coding/decoding rules are acoustically based on poetry, pacing, voice, pauses, emphasis, tone, etc.

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