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.


William, by Tomas Januska (from the Gravity Series)

William, by Tomas Januska (from the Gravity Series)


* 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.

About ashleighlou

Person, usually on bike
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