Tuesday, February 3, 2009

tracking tears while speaking

I've written here before about the impact of tears in public speaking situations--most often when it hits the public eye as well as that of the speaker. It remains an issue when women and public speaking are discussed. Today, the New York Times science section looks at the psychology behind crying (something difficult to measure), and quotes this woman:
“I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I may cry when I’m sharing something that’s of great significance to me,” said Nancy Reiley, 62, who works at a women’s shelter in Tampa, Fla., “and for some reason I sometimes will cry when I’m in a public speaking situation. “It has nothing to do with feeling sad or vulnerable. There’s no reason I can think of why it happens, but it does.”

While inconclusive on all the reasons you might cry in such a situation, the article notes that the prevailing views of tears as catharsis no longer provides a complete view. The article notes that, for biochemical and cultural reasons, women cry more often and more easily than do men.

What about you? Have you cried during a speech or presentation? What do you think was happening?

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