I've been thinking some lately about the importance of the quality of public speaking as it relates to teaching. While teaching is not like delivering a speech at a political rally or pumping up a team before a big game, I take it that how we deliver material is obviously an important component of good teaching. I have one thought to offer here, and some questions to raise.
First, my thought. I know of some professors who play loud music right before class to get themselves pumped up and ready for "the show". I am not the kind of professor or speaker who puts on a show for the class or audience. One reason for this is that this is simply not my personality. When we try to be something we are not, the lack of authenticity may be apparent and serve to hinder good teaching. At least this is so in my own case. Another reason I don't try to put on a show is that I think the centerpiece of the classroom should be the ideas we are discussing, rather than the professor or the students. I still try to deliver my material with clarity, and to avoid being boring as a speaker, but I'm not a coach on Friday night getting his players pumped up, and I don't try to be.
Now, for my questions:
1. What constitutes a good delivery, and how can we develop this skill as philosophy teachers?
2. Is there a set of speaking virtues that the ideal philosophy professor instantiates, apart from clarity?