Public Speaking

This past Thursday at  1:30 EST I began to speak. Unlike most of the times I choose to speak, I was standing up in front of a roomful of about 40 people who paid to attend a conference and decided to come listen to what my friend Shelly and I had to say.

We had 75 minutes to inform–and entertain. I made a short introduction, then Shelly did her thing and I followed. There is an old entertainment saying that goes something like, never follow an act with children or animals. Let me add one to that– or Shelly. She is a naturally captivating speaker. Audiences loves her. She comes across as smart, funny and sincere– because she is all that. As she tries to finish, she is being asked one question after another, I stand there off to the side with a growing sense of trepidation running through my brain faster than Marion Jones on steroids.

Before continuing this story lets go back in time. First of all I am an excellent public speaker. To quote Walter Brennan’s character in The Guns Of Will Sonnet, “No brag, just fact.”  Normally I do not worry about speaking in front of a group, I do, however, like to be prepared. I had planned to practice on Wednesday morning until some client work got in the way. I also had been coughing for a week and had dreams about hacking throughout the entire presentation.  And now I had to follow Shelly’s stellar performance.

Good news. It went well. Once I get rolling the only trouble I have is staying focused on what I had intended to say while a thousand ideas are going through my head sending me off on tangents that I may never recover from. Far too quickly it was over. Given time and a locked door I could have gone on for at least another hour or two.  

This was fun. I need to find ways to do it more often.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

4 Responses to Public Speaking

  1. Michael Petrucelli says:

    Believe it or not, I am a shy person. However, I love public speaking (that’s not to say I don’t get the butterfly stomach just before I go on…) For years, I was a trainer at my job and for two weeks at a time I had a captive audience and it was wonderful! My only problem is that the more relaxed I get, I tend to slip and let an occasional word that might be forbidden by the FCC come out. I learned to curb that.

    All in all, I do miss it. When I switched positions at work, the public speaking was pretty much all over.

  2. 48facets says:

    Pax, I also get nervous before speaking. I think that is just a part of the process. Even for the best speakers.

    My thing when I get too relaxed with a particular audience is that I try to be either off-beat or funny or both. It can get kinda weird–though I usually save the weird stuff for “safe” audiences such as people I work with as opposed to paying customers.

  3. PeachFlambe says:

    I’ll be honored to share the podium with you any time. Thanks for the very kind review of my performance – and if I did well it was because I knew I had to elevate my game to match yours. Let’s do it again sometime.

  4. 48facets says:

    Shelly, you know me. I am rarely kind but always honest. It would be great to find more things like this to do together.

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