Linking Technology to Public Speaking…
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”, (Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 2). Technology is neither good nor bad but humans make it so. Technology, in and of itself is, in fact, truly amazing. It’s what we do with it and how we, mere mortals choose to use it that simply, makes it either good or bad.
We frequently hear technology being blamed for our children’s deteriorating or under-developed communication skills. As a parent, I find it easy to lapse into this position. But is it really technology or is it the abuse and misuse of technology. So, does technology impact our communication skills? For worse? For better?
On the flip side, technology, I believe has the potential to greatly enhance and aid our communication skills if we cleverly choose to use it for that purpose. When we are researching material for the content of speeches and presentations, technology enables us to access almost all the information we need. In a timely fashion, it allows us to research topics and develop material that is current and topical. So, in this way, it clearly contributes to the sourcing of relevant content. It also gives us more options for presenting information in a multi sensory way, considering the various learning styles and strengths of the audience. We can play video clips and use images and graphics that bring our content to life.
A simple picture really can take the place of a thousand words, connecting quickly with an audience, evoking emotion and thought, making an indelible imprint on memory. Technology definitely enables us to appeal to that portion of the audience that prefers to process information visually.
Two or more people can present on the same topic but the presentations and speeches can be completely different. Different choices of content, different methods of delivery, different visual and technological aids. These choices are very individual. At the the centre is still the presenter. By choosing and using technology the presenter is cleverly maximising the resources at his / her disposal.
In conclusion, if we spend all of our time blaming technology for apparently poorer communication skills exhibited by our young people, we may risk losing sight of the opportunity technology provides to enhance presentations. Hamlet said “since Nothing is really good or bad in itself-it’s all what a person thinks about it”, I would add: It’s all HOW a person uses it or chooses to be used by it.