The “Contemporary Discourse Analysis” event held at the Qatari Forum for Authors’ pavilion focused on the mistakes of beginners in public speaking. Ahmed Al-Janabi, a linguist, talked about these mistakes from a historical perspective, analyzing the performance of a number of rhetoricians, and using the comparative approach between the early beginnings and the advanced stages of the sole speaker.
Mohamed Al-Shabrawi, a media expert, stressed the need to reconcile with oneself, and avoid blaming it to the extent of flagellating or reprimanding it. The Quranic rule is explicit in this regard. God Almighty says: “Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing,” which means that most skills are acquired. However, the human being will not acquire a skill unless he tries, and every attempt is subject to a certain amount of error. Whoever does not try is the only one who does not make mistakes.
Regarding the mastery of the skill of public speaking, Professor Salem Al-Jahwashi, speech and performance coach at Al Jazeera Media Network, said: “The road is long and requires that the person persevere, practice continuously, and put shyness aside,” stressing that the trainee may not reap the fruits in a short period of time, for his skill develops at a slow pace.”
Regarding stage fright, El-Gahouchi said: “Stage fright decreases in intensity with time, but it does not disappear,” noting that it is a healthy phenomenon that motivates and prepares the speaker to be at his best in delivering a speech.
In response to a question from the event’s audience, Al-Shabrawi said: “The study of books to acquire the ancient rhetorical style is important, but this should not be done at the expense of keeping pace with new rhetorical schools,” noting that the “Contemporary Discourse Analysis” event seeks to combine ancient and modern methods, not retreat into one’s shell. This openness serves the intellectual, scientific and social message of the addresser and the addressee alike.