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Joined: 25 Oct 2011
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 16
Location: Alvin, Texas

19 Jun 2015, 9:05 pm

Has anyone else been required to take a public speaking course to get their degree? My university requires it and I hate it. I have other disabilities besides autism, so this class is extremely difficult for me. It helps somewhat that I'm not in a room with the people I'm speaking to since I'm taking classes online, but it's still really hard. I'm also blind, so that makes things even harder. Did you realize how many visual elements there are to public speaking? I sure didn't! Luckily I don't have to be in this course for a whole semester. My school is a little different. I only take one course at a time, but each course is accelerated and lasts only 5 weeks. That can seem really long if you hate the course. I'm at the beginning of week 3, so I still have a while to go. If someone can give me some suggestions on coping with this course, that would be great.


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Joined: 10 Apr 2014
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,603
Location: USA

19 Jun 2015, 10:02 pm

If you get to choose a topic choose one of your special interests. Even if you don't get choice of subject, try making the subject into a special interest. The key to any public speaking is confidence, if you know the subject really well you'll be confident speaking about it. The books and instructor will push all kinds of body language technique, audience expectations, rhetorical tools, pretty much every social skill that autistics naturally fail. Don't let it scare you, listen to what's said and try to work on it, but realize that the only thing that truly matters in public speaking is projecting confidence. Without it the audience has no reason to listen to you: if you don't even believe what you're saying why the hell should they? With it, even the most die hard critic will at least listen to what you're saying. If you're like most autistics you've got some subject or a few where you're already a mini-expert by shear obsession: use that to your advantage.