Originally Posted by rtm135
He may be talented, but I hated listening to him speak at official Apple functions. His accent is terrible.
Wow. I wonder how you would react to Stephen Hawkings.
Some of the greatest minds in the world do not present themselves well as the greatest speakers. A great number of them became Nobel Prize winners or in their chosen fields. This did not impact how those in their field understood them.
I remember meeting someone at a research lab that I visited for a few weeks. I thought he was just one of the graduate students working there, very friendly but more reticent. Then, for some reason, many years later, he either recognized me or just saw me as just as not into small talk in a conference. I was more at the big aquarium of the Boston Aquarium just feeling out of place with all the bigwigs in the conference.
He approached me this time and engaged me into a non-technical conversation. I do not remember now what we talked about. We were interrupted only when the Chairman of the Conference talked to him. I was surprised to find out when he was called in the podium as the honored guest of the evening. It turned out, he was not only a member of the US National Academy of Sciences but also a member of the National Academy of Engineering (or some other elite academy). It is a very rare feat to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences, let alone to be a member also of the National Academy of Engineering. Even full professors at many prestigious universities including Harvard who are recognized as the top tiers in their fields do not get elected as member of these elite academies.
It turned out this rather shy and reticent guy is the basic holder of many basic patents that govern even many derivative inventions even of big corporations like Dupont and Pharmaceuticals. I requested his CV at some point a few years later, and he did not hesitate to send it to me, and it was almost an inch-thick. His patents alone was several pages.
When you are student or become involved in research and technology, you meet many kinds of these people in seminars and conferences. Many could barely could speak fluent English or speak in correct grammar, as many of them are foreigners. They could be rambling too. One I knew even use a copy editor to improve his written work before submission to journals. But, if you focus too much on their speaking voice, or that they are slow or they ramble -- you will miss a lot learning from them.
Originally Posted by Apple ][
I do agree with the poster who mentioned his accent. If somebody can not speak proper English or if they have a very thick accent, then they should not be giving public presentations, as language and delivery is key.
Are you for real? Whatever profession are you in?
Do you actually believe that proper English must be mandated to everyone simply because many Americans or Brits do not have the capacity to comprehend other languages?
You obviously have not met some of the greatest minds in the world. This is true in any field. Not being able to speak proper English has never been a criteria in serious fields when it comes to public speaking. Some of them even get standing room only, if you can squeeze in. Some are very much in demand to be invited guest speakers in conferences and featured seminars very common in universities and research institutions. That is if you can get them to agree. Some are just too busy to be spending time in their work instead of hopping from one place to another.
As important as speech is in "popularity contest" arenas, if speech were the litmus test, many great people would not pass your shallowmindedness. You would eliminate many Asians who have achieved success as sought public speakers because they are the top in their field. And not only Asians, pretty much many people who do not speak English as their native tongue.
You actually equate savvy speaking with success in communication? I bet charlatans would mesmerize you.
I bet if you did not know Steve Jobs accomplishments he would not have passed your criteria too. By the way, if you listen to him carefully, he does not speak proper English, fond of hyperbole that irritates some New York Times columnist and blogger.