Public Speaking as Edutainment?

The New York Times “EducationLife” section from January 8th had some interesting articles related to communication. Here are a few random items from an article titled, “It’s How You Say It: There’s public speaking. Then again, there’s ‘edutainment.’’
(1) In NYC there are public speaking courses offered by NYU, Columbia, and the New School that run from 6-10 weeks and cost from $600 to $3000. Instructors note that most students who take the courses do so to advance their careers.
(2) The Learning Annex’s 3-day courses on how to be a Learning Annex speaker, “spends more time [than in the one day seminars] covering the finer points of public speaking. . . .” These seminars and courses, btw, developed as a result of the publicity surrounding Donald Trump’s $1.5 million fee for a speech at the LA.
(3) These courses start with a $19.95 workshop in which you learn about a full day seminar for $395 and in which you then learn about a 3-day seminar for $2995. Interestingly enough, the LA portrays these classes as the start of a career change to a professional speaker.
(4) Of the 845 professional speakers who responded to a survey, 539 reported making less than $100,000 from their speaking activities in 2004. Almost 25% earned less than $25,000.

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