In our second class we got outside of the classroom and learned the importance of locking up bikes. Professor Hunt gave multiple examples of how thieves usually steal bikes and ways for us to avoid bike theft. The most important takeaway that I learned in class was that if you cannot live with having your bike stolen, you should not be locking your bike publicly.
For my first presentation in class my sources were fairly limited. The bulk of my speech was based off of a handout that we received in class which had a rubric for grading different aspects of credibility. One thing that I regrettably did not include in my presentation was references to the articles about credibility that we read for homework. Although I didn’t make any direct references to anything other than the video I selected, most of the ideas that my points were based off of definitely gained inspiration from the readings and videos I reviewed outside of class.
During our class block last Tuesday, we took a longer ride than we ever had before through golden gate park. Our mission was to make it to the bison paddock past the cycling path. Unfortunately, we did not end up making to the bison paddock due to unforeseen time constraints. What I realized during class was that I am getting extremely familiar with the bike paths of the area in close proximity to my university. On some of our first bike rides I stuck with the group on our way back and stuck to strictly the paths that we had previously taken. But now, I am able to recognize the grid system that our area of the city utilizes particularly well and I am able to deviate from our usual paths. For example, Justin and I had a lovely bike ride back last class ahead of the group and we decided to take the panhandle to a less steep hill than the one we usually ride back up on.
Here is the structure of my first speech:
My name is Matt and I’ll be assessing the credibility of Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate bike share which is currently partnering with Ford to produce the Gobike initiative. The Gobike initiative is similar to Citibike, which is a bike share that covers the five boroughs of New York City.
To judge Jay Walder, I will be reviewing his believability and intelligence as well as his overall credibility based on a speech Walder gave at the Gobike launch in July.
In terms of believability, I was fairly convinced by Walder’s enthusiasm for the Gobike initiative. What made me partly believe in Walder’s speech was his proficient use of body language and tone to attempt to captivate his audience. When Walder was talking he used his hands to fill the awkward void that is created when you don’t move your hands; instead of keeping his hands still at his sides, Walder coordinated his gestures to emphasize different points he was making (example hyperbole, large hand gesture).
Similar to body language, Walder used the tone of his voice to emphasize the different points he was making. At a point in his speech Walder was explaining the rapid growth of Gobike and while explaining this, Walder raised his voice to express his confidence and excitement in the Gobike initiative.
Although semi-convincing, Walder’s enthusiasm alone does not make this speech particularly believable. What this speech is lacking is a sense of emotion from Walder. This emotion doesn’t need to be over-the-top, but I feel that if Walder truly cared about the success of Gobike and its effects on local communities (lack of virtue/goodwill), he would speak with more passion.
Walder’s enthusiasm helped him gain a bit of credibility with his audience but what reinforced his enthusiasm and his overall credibility was his intelligence.
Walder displayed a fair amount of intelligence through his physical appearance (presumed and reputed credibility) as well as through his use of facts and his attentiveness to who his audience was. What I presume and Walder’s reputation play to his advantage while assessing Walder’s intelligence.
For this speech, Walder is dressed in a business casual outfit, which to me implies that he usually works in an environment where he has a reputation to uphold (and has to be smart to uphold that reputation) and he is also a CEO.
Walder is also wearing glasses which immediately make him look smarter due to the popular social connotation (talk about connotation).
Another aspect of Walder’s appearance that makes him look intelligent is his age (talk about connotation with age).
A more concrete example of Walder’s intelligence is his use of facts. Although his speech is brief, Walder was able to use facts to reinforce his statements and to make himself seem more credible.
Another example that points to Walder’s intelligence is his perception of audience. Walder may not be from the bay area and he may not be passionate about public transportation or biking in general; but he knows that the crowd he is speaking to most definitely is. Through his use of tone and body language to create a sense of enthusiasm, Walder aligns himself with his audience to prove that he believes in the same future as they do, therefore gaining credibility.
Conclusion about overall credibility; pros of his credibility, cons of his credibility, “In conclusion”
Watching everyone’s credibility presentations in class gave me a ton of good ideas for things that I want to do in my future presentations. As someone who gave a fairly mediocre speech, it was especially easy to admire aspects of other people’s speeches. For example, Malia found a subject that pertained to her and that she really enjoyed, which made her presentation interesting and helped engage her audience.
I feel that an advantage that comes from watching others’ speeches is the ability to spot subconscious tendencies that the speaker has and learn to avoid them. An example of this would be how a couple of people who gave presentations before me had trouble with body language/nervous ticks. Because I noticed a couple people struggling to stop cracking their knuckles or shifting their weight from leg to leg I knew that when I gave my speech I had to keep these things in mind in order to avoid them.
For our first project, I gave a speech that assessed the credibility of Jay Walder, CEO of Motivate bike share which recently partnered with Ford to produce the Ford Gobike initiative. In all honesty, I pretty much botched my presentation. I went into class feeling confident because when I recorded my three rehearsals they were consistently timed (4:50, 4:44, 4:54) and I was able to clearly articulate everything I wanted to say. One thing I think I was able to do particularly well in my rehearsals was that I was able to elaborate on bullet points and touch on everything I wanted to say while at the same time avoiding reading my script word for word. During my presentation though, I got nervous and lost my train of thought so I relied more on the script that I had written. A personal goal that I have for the semester is to be able to give my speeches the same way I rehearse.
Another problem that arose for me was my lack of interest in my subject. It’s not that I found Jay Walder and the Gobike initiative completely boring, I just didn’t have a particular sense of drive or inspiration when I gave my speech. Before I chose the Gobike video, I was looking for videos that pertained to my major (Design) but all I could find were videos about the actual designing of bikes. While this is interesting in itself, I focus more on the graphics side of design rather than the architecture/industrial design side of design. If I had found a video that somehow meshed graphic design and biking, I think I would be able to give a more consistent and engaged presentation than the one I actually gave. Finding speech topics that I’m truly interested in is another thing that I’d like to work on for my next speech.
As for things that I think I did well, I think I was able to structure my speech fairly well and I think that my body language/ eye contact was good as well.
How large of a roll does public speaking play in your position as executive director of a non-profit?
If you had to estimate, how many days out of the year would you say you cycle to work?