The emergency management meeting is moving right along. A special “thank you” was given to a retiring officer who had done a superb job. New action plans were presented and deliberated. While you may have had ideas, information, and experiences on the topics, all which were worthy of sharing, you remained silent. Perhaps you thought that after the meeting you would speak to just one person and contribute your ideas then.
Public Speaking Is Challenge For Many
Public speaking is a challenge for many people and pushes them way beyond their comfort zone. Many people are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death. As the comedian Jerry Seinfeld quipped, “People at a funeral would rather be in the casket than standing over it giving the eulogy.” Aside from an innate shyness, most of the pressure associated with public speaking is a lack of training or perhaps, poor training.
People will often look back with resentment or embarrassment at the times that, as preschoolers, they had to repeat a poem for company. Or, in the early school years, having to do “show and tell” when it seemed as though the child before you always had a fantastic item to show. Then, of course, there were all the years that followed where you memorized a two-minute speech. Never however, were students taught how to prepare a speech or how to make a spontaneous speech.
Leaders Are Excellent Public Speakers
All leaders are excellent public speakers. Their message may be flawed. Yet, they are convincing, and people listen to them. A powerful speaker can control his audience through emotion. They can elicit the positive emotions of hope, charity, and faith. They can also create the negative emotions of hate, anger, and revenge. However, there is the speaker who, through reason and logic, can impart to the listener the information they need to make an informed decision. Notice who becomes leaders of clubs and committees. It is always the person who is excellent at addressing the group. This is unfortunate for the silent person who would like to participate but fails because he or she lacks public speaking skills. Unfortunately, the group is denied this knowledge and experience.
Abraham Lincoln– A Gifted and Skilled Orator
President Abraham Lincoln was a gifted and skilled orator. The book Abraham Lincoln and The Structure of Reason by David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften (2010) is a study of the public speaking technique of President Lincoln. Why is it called the “Structure of Reason”? Geometry is based on reason and logic. Transferring that reason and logic to speech making promotes the audience to employ logic and reason into their decision-making process. How did President Lincoln apply Euclidean geometry to speech making and how can one learn to apply it?
Application of Geometry
In geometry a proposition is made. Then one states what is given, what one is seeking, does the construction, presents the proof, and draws the conclusion.
- Proposition: To prove that the exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two opposite and interior angles of the triangle.
- Given: Triangle ABC in which A is the top angle and B and C are the base angles. The base is BC is extended beyond C to form the exterior angle D.
- Seeking: To prove that angle D is equal to the sum of interior and opposite angles A and B.
- Construction: Draw triangle ABC and extend the base BC to form angle D.
- Since A + B + C = 180
- And C + D = 180
- Therefore A + B = D = 180
- Conclusion: The exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two interior and opposite angles.
This method can be applied to public speaking. However, it requires training and practice. Presented are three examples showing the outline for a speech.
The first example follows:
Proposition: To show how to use a fire extinguisher.
Given: An ABC home fire extinguisher.
Seeking: How to use the fire extinguisher to put out a home fire.
- Describe, explain, and show the different parts.
- Explain the different fires it is capable of extinguishing.
- Read the label.
- Describe how to maintain and store it.
- Demonstrate how to hold and operate it.
- Have the person hold it and repeat the steps of operation.
Proof: A person actually operates the fire extinguisher.
Conclusion: The person is confident and knowledgeable about the fire extinguisher.
Proposition: To recognize and thank the president of a local emergency management organization who is resigning after two years of service.
Given: All members are present and would like to show their appreciation.
Seeking: Why has our president been so successful in leading our group.
Construction: Personal anecdotes to be added.
- Positive and encouraging
- Kept the budget balanced
- Punctual in conducting meetings and in returning emails and phone calls.
- Stayed informed on the progress of projects and was always willing to help out.
- Worked quickly and employed innovative solutions to problems.
- Many projects supporting emergency management were accomplished efficiently.
- The group is focused and works well together.
- Membership has increased.
Conclusion: We thank you and appreciate your tireless efforts in leading this group through so many successful emergency management projects.
Example Three follows:
Proposition: To present a plan for accommodating forest fire refugees in a small town.
Given: This is a small town of 4000 people. We are expecting hundreds of evacuees.
Seeking: We need to plan an orderly accommodation for them.
- Townspeople will fill out a form listing those family and friends who can reside with them.
- Other residents will list specifically whom they will accept into their home. This list will include how many, what age and sex, pets, and habits. They will also list the responsibilities of the evacuees while living in their home. Homeowners will be assured that if they have any feelings of discomfort or weariness that they can report to the town and have the evacuees relocated without justifying their request.
- Evacuees who have recreational camping vehicles will be directed to large parking areas.
- Evacuees who have camping gear will be directed to large indoor areas such as arenas and gymnasiums. These areas will be marked off into family or individual sites and a sheltered outdoor cooking area will be set up.
- All others will be sent to indoor areas such as meeting halls and will be provided with cots.
Proof: This plan ensures that an orderly system of accommodation exists. The financial burden to the taxpayer is low as many evacuees will be self sufficient.
Conclusion: This plan allows for as much independence and self reliance for the evacuees as possible.
Responsibility to Share Knowledge
We all have a responsibility to share our knowledge. Knowledge does not “belong” to any one person, group, or profession. We each have training in various skills, often developed over a period of years. We also have single and multiple experiences both positive and negative. Accumulated knowledge, skills and experience are valuable and should be shared so that others can learn, adapt and increase their abilities. Most of our transfer of information is verbal. Being able to orally communicate effectively is a benefit to the communicator and recipient. Prepare yourself. It’s time to speak up and “speak easy”!
The Gettysburg Address
“The Gettysburg Address” has been immortalized as one of the greatest speeches in the history of America and is carved in the Lincoln Memorial. The address is a perfect example of the implementation of Euclidean geometry in speech-making as applied by President Abraham Lincoln:
Gettysburg Address Geometry
The geometry format of the Gettysburg Address is as follows:
Proposition: The Gettysburg Address
Given: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, …….
Seeking: “…. testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation may live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
Construction: “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but I can never forget what they did here.
Proof: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion in that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
Conclusion: “….. that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.