On Being Articulate

image credit: xkcd

As long as I can remember, I always want to be known as an articulate person. I’m fascinated by charismatic, persuasive people who seems to be able to captivate attention effortlessly. There’s something magical in being able to express yourself in such a way that can induce physical reactions, be it a smile, a cry, or goosebumps.

I tried to teach myself on how to be articulate. I read books about public speaking, I joined speech contests, I participated in college debate club, all to persuade myself that I’m a good speaker. Articulate for me means that I can persuade people well.

Does it work? I have to say it worked quite well. It does come with a certain downsides though. When you’re too focused on how you’d say something, you tend to forget that you actually have to say something. I don’t think I’ve talked too much bullshit in the past, but I sometimes hoped I wish I’ve spent more time exploring other channels to express my thought.

Being able to speak well and persuade others to get buy in can take you to your goal, but hovering too much on how you’d articulate something can make you lose sight on the goal: expressing something that’s actually valuable. This also holds true when writing: is impeccable, perfect grammar more important than making sure you have something actually worth writing, even for yourself?

As I grow, I came to admire the beauty of calm articulation. Appreciating the fact big ideas doesn’t have to be presented in a brou-ha-ha manner. Whenever I can, I take my time to marinate and examine my thoughts, trying to articulate my ideas in the simplest, calmest way possible.

When you’re rushing to articulate your thoughts, you’ll get sloppy. You’ll feel the need to “go loud” instead of “go deep”. I know it first hand, because I still make the same mistake, all the time. Being “shallowly charming” might work for some audience, but infatuation to ideas is evergreen than cult of personality. Nowadays, persuasive and charming speakers still fascinates me, but I like to think I’m a bit wiser to look into what’s behind the charm.

I’m more magic resistant now, I guess.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close