|The International Square Dance Magazine|
By BILL BOYD
Although I write an editorial virtually every month, I also do my fair share of public speaking. I mention this because many people, callers included, sometimes seem to forget the power of the spoken word. To cite from Father Walter Ong, “…sound is indicative of here-and-now activity, the word as now establishes here-and now-personal presence…”. I therefore think of speech as the medium. Using speech we can create a sense of urgency, create excitement, or generate enthusiasm. Speech can convince or persuade. Speech can educate, illustrate or elucidate. Using this as a basis, it is important for callers to be salesmen as well as educators. Many callers after having taught multiple classes seem to fall into a rut. They basically just repeat the word, definitions create demonstrations without passion or excitement. Sales persons, teachers, even preachers and others can all fall into this same uneventful speaking pattern. I have often said that public speaking is one of the most important things we do in life. When many of us think of public speaking we think in terms of large audiences, school assemblies, church groups, chamber or rotary meetings. Think smaller, how about that one on one interview when you apply for a job? How about when you propose marriage? Can there be a time for more passion in your speech? Now, let’s translate this into our square dance calling and instruction. You do not have to be rah-rah ziz-boom bah exciting. But, you do have to express enthusiasm for your product. In class you have to remember that for many this is the first time they have seen or heard of this call or even in some cases square dancing. What may be old hat to you is new to the dancer, be fair and make it fun and exciting. Try and remember that not only what people hear is important, what they hear in your voice and body language is just as important.
|Fun set to music!|