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Extra Credit Public Speaking Critique

2012 December 7
by solankl

I attended the film and discussion “American Meat.”  The producer/director of the film, Graham Meriwether, made an introduction before the documentary began.  I really liked his introduction.  He recognized and thanked all the farmers in the audience, which was very thoughtful.  Graham then discussed the basis for the documentary, and how younger farmers are truly needed.  He was a very good speaker, speaking clearly and moving around in a casual way.  He was also dressed very casual, which made him seem very comfortable in front of the room.  He obviously is passionate about the film, and thanked everyone for coming out to watch.

I really did enjoy the film.  I had absolutely no knowledge about agriculture coming into this documentary, so it really opened my eyes.  I thought it was organized well, as it was split up into three parts.  Because the film is a documentary, it really opens up your eyes to how things are really going on in the world right now.  Some of the farmers’ stories were sad because of how the farming industry has changed.  This really allowed the audience to connect with and feel for the farmers going through tough times.

After the film, Graham had 4 people come up to discuss with the crowd.  I found the discussion to be very interesting, because there were real people affected by farming sitting in front of us.  The discussion began with an introduction of each person, and then Graham asked each one a question.  First was the deliveryman for a company from the video.  He had a very inspirational story in the movie, and expanded well upon it in the discussion.  He spoke clearly, and definitely had everyone’s attention.  Next was a farmer from New Jersey.  He was a very informed man, and really knew what he was talking about, which showed in his speaking.  A woman who manages a farmer’s market in Harrisonburg spoke next.  She had a lot of nice things to say about food, but did seem rather timid and quiet at some points.  Finally was a man who raises cattle and chicken.  He was also very knowledgeable and used hand motions as he spoke.  However, he was slightly monotone, but still informative.

Graham then opened up questions to the audience.  When someone asked a question, he would summarize so the rest of the audience could hear, and I thought he paraphrased very well.  I was very impressed at how well the panel was prepared for the questions.  The audience would ask a question, and multiple people on the panel were able to give very good answers.

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