At Bentley we are all given the chance to be taught by professors who have a passion for what they do in addition to having amazing academic backgrounds. I have had the privilege of taking Professor Speca for Effective Speaking where I have learned so much, and the semester is not even over! Being such a unique and inspiring person, we decided that he just had to be recognized as a Campus Celebrity.
Check out my interview with him below:
HC: Did you know that you always wanted to teach speech and acting?
GS: No, actually I didn’t. I went to college planning to study government or political science and then to attend law school (although I DID harbor fantasies of becoming a professional musician or actor). At college, my growing interest in language, literature, and the performing arts sidetracked my master plan—goodbye law school—, and, later, when I decided I wanted to teach, I kind of mixed and matched my interests to my course curricula. I’m still moving among them in the classes, I teach at Bentley (and I still want to act and play more music).
HC: Have you ever had a student become a professional actor or speaker?
GS: Yes, I have. For a while, I taught speaking/performing arts exclusively in a program designed to encourage performing artists, so it was natural that a significant number of my students would go on to professional careers. They act or have acted on the stage, on television, and in films and have become producers and screenwriters. Several of these folks have also achieved a measure of international recognition. A few of my former students have cultivated political careers and are making speeches every day; and at least one guy—or so I’ve been told: I’ve not had contact with him in a long time—is something of a self-help guru in the Pacific Northwest.
HC: What is your favorite summer destination?
GS: My backyard, hanging out with my wife.
HC: What suggestions would you give to someone who wants to become more comfortable speaking in front of a crowd?
GS: Take an effective speaking class! Okay, here are a few other suggestions: (1) Prepare, prepare, prepare. Know your content; and know it well enough to have confidence in it. (2) While speaking, maintain your focus. The speech is not about the crowd, nor is it about you; it’s about the information you plan to share and your purpose for sharing it. Concentrate on achieving your purpose. (3) Recognize that you don’t have to be perfect. (4) Reach out to your audience. (5) Don’t forget to breathe.