A Good Speech Is A Speech Delivered With ‘Raw’ Emotions…

2 Nov

Fear-of-public-speaking During lunch, I was talking to June Kang and she told us (Judy, Deborah, Dr Lanse and myself) of a recent 5-day public speaking workshop she attended. She said it was really good because it was given by an expert from China who had an academic background in Psychology. On top of that, the workshop was given at a hefty fee of RM5000! Despite the daunting price tag, they are so confident that the fees comes with a money-back guarantee.

It began to sound a little fishy. But nevertheless, June was confident and she shared that the initial part of the workshop was divided into basic human emotions. The participants were to express a particular emotion and the facilitator-cum-expert would judge whether they were expressing a true emotion or a fake repressed emotion. June honestly told us that she had a lot of difficulty expressing anger to the facilitator’s satisfaction. (She said that meant she probably had a lot of issues with anger) The whole workshop would be stalled because one or two people couldn’t live up to the expectation of the ‘expert’. So I quipped that the sheer frustation would have driven her to scream much better (He he!). But June said that the facilitator was really an expert in picking out fake emotions and he would only allow genuine display of emotions.

Then she recounted a few cases where many of her fellow participants would just lose themselves in their emotions and just roll on the floor in laughter or would be screaming vulgarities like a lunatic. She said she experienced that for herself with laughter (she literally rolled on the floor in laughter) and explained that we are so repressed with culture, upbringing and other social norms that we forget how liberating it is to just express our emotions. Deborah was horrified and she said she would never ever participate in something that messes with her mind.

On the other hand, Judy said that is why she would encourage her kids to express themselves freely. I thought that was a little risky proposition and so I cautioned her saying that expressing ourselves is good but there is always a time and place for that. However, there is always a danger with total freedom of expression especially with regards to the angst-ridden youth (I was thinking about the nasty things I would do if I had free rein – a sign I am still angst ridden minus the youth bit). She nodded in agreement. Then June said the sessions within the workshop ended up rather emotional and sometimes private repressed feelings and memories are uncovered. 

It all sounds rather Dharmic…Well you know, letting go of past emotional baggages and such. But then, the workshop sort of crosses the boundaries to personal development. I guess they are all related but I had my doubts about how much it can heal within a five-day course. June explained that they have followups after the workshop and I wanted to say… “Will the followups bring us to a better rebirth?”

But June explained that there was a marked difference in the public speeches that were given before and after the workshop. I realised then that I had lost the whole point – it was just to make them better public speakers! So much for Dharma and the after life! 

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