Thursday, November 15, 2012

Public Speaking: Not My Thing

I guess you could say I have a phobia of public speaking. Just the thought of speaking in front of a crowd makes my nose start to sweat, my stomach starts doing flips, and my heart starts to beat rapidly.  I will avoid speaking in front of a group at all costs. Just ask my husband. I make him do all the "talking" to groups, at events, and social settings.  Give me a group of 2nd grade Brownies and I'm fine leading and talking.  Please just don't ask me to have a parent meeting.

In high school, I took Speech as a sophomore, not realizing that it was Junior Level course.  Maybe that explains the nerves. My teacher was a five foot spitfire who loved her job and was so kind to me that she even had me over for a Mary Kay party at her house.  She made a huge impression on me and inspired my passion for Journalism and Politics, but I still couldn't give a speech.  My A in the class was out of pity.

By college, I was involved in politics and student government, but still avoided public speaking. I only got an A in my freshman level Speech class because it was at 8:00 in morning and I was only one awake to hear my speaking.  I could argue a point in ASUN board meetings, at Young Republican meetings, or at my Sorority's Monday Night House meetings, but just don't ask me to get up in front of a large group of people.

Tonight, I'm scheduled to speak in front of a group of parents and students at a Junior High event that could draw a several hundred people. To say that the butterflies are working overtime is to put it lightly.  As the PTO President, it is my job to make the welcoming speech.  I've avoided having to do anything like this for years, but today is the day.  I'm not sure what it is about the podium and the microphone that give me heart palpitations.

At dinner last night, we had a contest to see who could write the best speech for Mom.  There was even money offered if I would use certain phrases.  At one point, I think the amount reached $22.  I of course was wondering if P could just come to the meeting and stand up and I say "I'm Jill" and give my speech.  Maybe no one would notice.

Googling "How Not to Throw Up During a Speech" gave me great comfort.  According to research, no one has ever died or actually thrown up giving a speech; maybe before or after the event, but they have at least gotten through the speech first.  Of course, there is a first for everything!  I told my husband that the only good thing about this speech today is that it meant I needed to get a new outfit.  According to Miss A and Miss M, every one will be so impressed with my "Groovy" new dress they won't even remember what I say!

I wonder if it's wrong to pray for Jesus' second coming to happen today before 7:00 p.m. CST.

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