His voice wasn’t all squashed up in his mouth.
He was forming the words in his mouth quite well.
His pace wasn’t too fast and it wasn’t too slow,
he flowed pretty smoothly for most of it. There was a nice rhythm happening.
I guess you weren’t quite sure what was happening with his hands.
He knew he had to do something with them but whenever he moved them
they just ended up going back to where they were.
I got a bit of a sense of disconnection with his gestures.
He’s quite a tall guy, so you notice, actually.
Sometimes he would talk in little spurts and then stop
and you felt like maybe he’d forgotten where he was
in the scheme of things. I mean you knew he knew where he was
but if had just walked in off the street and didn’t know him
from Adam you probably wouldn’t know. So I would be worried about him
and I might think his ideas were all over the place.
At the start he sounded quite happy and excited. He was smiling
and the volume was good
and quite resonant, and it made you feel quite happy with him.
At the end everything went lower in pitch and a bit softer
as the content got more serious and more sad, I guess you could say.
So his pitch was appropriate to what was happening.
The only thing was, his eye contact wasn’t as good
as it maybe could’ve been. He wasn’t meeting anyone’s eye,
in a way he was looking all around the room except for at anyone.
And wasn’t eye contact his goal all along? I just think
he should reevaluate that goal. Sometimes he laughed
when it wasn’t that appropriate. It was like
laughing at his own jokes to cover the fact that no one was laughing.
I think that was a nervous tic, actually. Maybe he sensed
that he didn’t really know what the point of the story was.
Fillers, there were some fillers, when he should have just breathed
instead of saying um. I think the problematic thing was just
the general confidence of him. Here’s this big tall guy, you know,
and he’s a tennis pro, knows a lot about music, and you’d expect him
to know a thing or two. And he does but he kept getting in the way of himself.
* This sort-of poem is a riff on some feedback that someone gave in a continuing education course I am doing at the moment called ‘Speak With Presence’, which is about overcoming nerves about speaking in public. We had to give two-minute impromptu speeches today.