You are browsing the archive for Docs Tags public speaking.

Narrative Essay

December 8, 2021 in

Ivan lara 

Professor Matias

Composition for creative expression


     Public speaking in spanish 

I was introduced to public speaking at the age of seven, I held my first public bible reading in Spanish at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I would recall this moment as the most enlightening and encouraging moment of my life. I can admit that I found reading in Spanish a much easier task compared to English. Although my spanish-reading skills were not great, I struggled tremendously with reading and writing in English. As a bilingual speaker it was difficult for me to express myself because I would speak in Spanish but think in English and vice-versa. My first literacy encounter was in elementary school, when I would get English Language Arts (ELA) support and a teacher would help me improve my reading and pronunciation.   

As a teen I was assigned to do bible readings in front of the congregation more frequently. Each and every time was a roller coaster of emotions, but my mother being a Spanish speaker, was one of my greatest supports to help me with my anxiety and reading. I also had a friend from the congregation who assisted me with my readings.  I remember my friend taking the time out of his day and spending time with me so he could help me pronounce every word correctly and have a smooth flow and meaningful reading. When my father wasn’t working, he would also assist me with my readings. There were many times I was annoyed and frustrated with my father because I felt like I wasn’t meeting up to his expectations, but I realized now he was just trying to get me into a habit of reading on my own, since he could see that reading wasn’t my forte. 

As I reflect on personal experiences that shaped part of who I am today, I realize that attending kingdom hall meetings positively influenced my literacy and was also a social event that introduced me to friends of different ages and nationalities. I was also exposed to countless conventions in which complex questions of life along with other biblical topics were explained in such a simple manner that even I, being a child, was captivated by the explanation. Due to this I became more conscious and observant of what made a speech compelling. 

One day I was assigned my first ever 5-minute speech in front of the whole congregation. I felt so honored and gleeful because I was very young at the time, and I knew these types of experiences were very rare. The topic was” Will we ever See Our Deceased loved ones ever again”. All the previous lessons I had worked on for every bible-reading I had done was a build up to what was going to come. During the afternoons I would write down my speech on paper and show it to my friends and parents. I would practice out loud with people around me numerous times until I felt confident with the presentation. I remember rehearsing at the park, in the grocery store, in public and even in the shower. I felt very anxious for those upcoming weeks and terrified of the slightest mishap. On the day of the talk, I remember my name being called and leaving my seat quietly to approach the steps that would elevate me on stage, I gently stood up and moved towards the stage being able to hear every footstep I made. I opened up my folder with shaky hands, looked down at my polished brown shoes, took a deep breath and started to speak firmly. Everything happened so quickly I didn’t even have time to take everything in. However, when I finished my speech I closed my folder and carefully walked out of the stage and went back to my seat. To my surprise the chairman of that meeting day complimented me and gave me a friendly smile in front of the whole crowd of people. All it took was that  delightful smile to tell me that everything went ok. 

This experience shaped my confidence as a speaker and taught me how rehearsal is a crucial and necessary factor if one wants to convey an important message. Reading the bible and rehearsing has taught me to give emotion, character and flow to what I am reading. Similarly, American musicals share characteristics of diverse, complicated and emotional plots that grab the reader’s attention. A great musical piece is one that the audience can relate to and have some sort of strong connection. I would love to understand how musicals work and even find enjoyment in understanding them and perhaps making them one day. My favorite play currently is, “THE BIG BAD MUSICAL ”. In this musical the main character is misunderstood and treated like the villain. No one ever gave him a chance to express himself. I feel like many kids aren’t taken seriously because of their vulnerability and their lack of commitment to stuff. That’s how I felt at a certain point in my life, I felt like I wasn’t living up to the expectations of my parents and at times it was difficult for them to take me seriously. Although this wasn’t a major problem with me there are situations where society treats the underaged less important, causing an insecurity in the child’s development. Children and adolescents are the future. Society should not undermine the message a young person is trying to convey.

When I was up on that stage, I had the privilege of explaining with the bible the hope that God has given humanity of eliminating death and suffering in the near future. Everyone was silent and listening to the information that the bible had to offer, I was only a tool being used to give that information and that’s why i felt so honored and special. After that experience my confidence skyrocketed and whenever I had presentations in school, I felt like voice mattered. In the beginning it was difficult to break through the barrier of speaking with confidence and it’s still something I struggled with. However, I improve with the more experience I gain through each talk and presentation.