Speaking vs Writing

My school is going through a number of changes right now.  I’ve decided that I’m going to be “on board” with the administrator’s plans, even if I see problems.  I want to help make the plans succeed.  I think there is a lot of potential and, more importantly, I can’t stop the changes from happening.  So, I may as well face the coming changes positively so that the new year doesn’t drag me down.

My problem is this:  Whenever teachers get together to talk about it, my emotions come up.  I try really hard to stay calm and rational, even if others are not, but when I start talking, I get excited.  It’s like stage fright, or something.  It’s irritating to me because I teach Speech and Theater, and I work hard at being able to talk with ease in front of people.  Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have experience in talking about things I’m passionate about.  I can’t keep my emotions in check.  Is this bad?  I’m not sure.  It’s not what I want, though.

Writing is so much better for this.  I can vent and get all the emotional garbage out and then delete it and clean it up and make my points strong and effective without being emotional.  Isn’t that better?  I thought so, but watching debates about the campaigns makes me question that.  I thought Hilary Clinton’s breakdown would hurt her campaign (And maybe in the end it did), but it seemed to make her more “human”.

I struggle with this.  Where is the line between showing emotion and losing credibility?  Do we run the risk of being robots if we cut all of the emotion out of our public speaking and writing?  Or do we need to cut it out to be respected?  I’m really not sure.  All I know is that when I lost my cool discussing a problem with a fellow teacher who was being obtuse, I felt stupid.  (And no, I didn’t yell at him or do anything else ridiculous.  I did get flushed and my heart was racing and my hands were shaking…generally emotional.)


I am the language lover and these are my thoughts. 



  1. renaissanceguy said,

    January 23, 2008 at 5:14 am

    My thoughts? I have the same struggle. Like you, I should be able to discuss things dispassionately–or at least somewhat dispassionately. Often I decide I’m better off not saying anything.

    I think about Martin Luther King and other great activitsts who, although fighting for enormously important causes, were able to let the power of their words do the job.

  2. March 21, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    I wonder why this particular post gets the most traffic. No one comments, but I get a visit to this post nearly every day. What are these people looking for? If they left comments, maybe I could help.

    It’s odd studying the blog statistics and trying to make some sort of rhyme or reason from it.

  3. Hope crown said,

    August 19, 2008 at 12:32 am

    We might expect a literacy article ant theory of speaking vs. writing

  4. August 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Are you suggesting that I write a literacy article on the subject? I just finished writing my thesis, so I’m not up for that particular challenge right now. I’d love to read one, though…

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