i was watching the democratic convention last night and was surprised how some speakers just don't know how to react to applause. good speakers know when to keep going and when to pause. then there is the person who says their next line three times, not quite knowing when to start up again.
i learned a lot in my college speech class. because i speak to tens of thousands of students each week (ok, a few hundred) i find that this class was a great foundation to what i do every weekend. except, start your talk with a joke. oh, and tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them... that's junk. chances are your audience is more astute than that... even middle schoolers.
then again... i don't think i learned that much in my speech class. it's was my drama/acting class... now that's a scary thought.