When we ordered breakfast this morning, my husband had trouble understanding the young girl who took our order.
Yes, he does have a little bit of hearing difficulty. But that wasn’t the only problem.
This young lady spoke as so many people do these days. A bit of a nasal pitch, with the end of each sentence rising as if everything said is a question.
But he was able to get enough repeated to finalize his order, and as we waited at the table for our meal, we reminisced about our college speech professor.
Dr, Woodruff (Woody) was very dramatic. Plus his voice reverberated throughout the classroom. From time to time he would suddenly use his gruff tone that rose from the gravelly depth into a higher pitch in the course of a sentence stating a rule of proper speech-making that he wanted us to be sure and remember.
”I wonder what Ole Woody would think of the way people talk these days.” I said to my husband.
He laughed and said, “I’m sure he wouldn’t like it.”
Then he reminded me of one of those important public speaking rules Dr. Woody tried to instill in us.
Don’t use your hands too much. Better no hand movement than something distracting. And his example was a line from an old hymn:
- When (point to wrist where watch is worn)
- the roll (rolling hands over each other in front of you)
- is called (hands to each side of mouth as if shouting)
- up (point upward with both index fingers)
- yonder (point out as if to the distance)
- I’ll (point back to self with thumbs)
- be there (point index fingers down to the floor in front of you).
Good teaching, Dr. Woodruff. We remember this well.