Many years back, I looked up to older, wiser Brobitey. He knew stuff I didn’t. He had experience I lacked. I wanted my report to be perfect. And I thought I was doing the right thing by asking his advice instead of going to the dictionary.
As you can probably guess, things went ass up because I did not. I asked him how to spell public and he replied P-U-B-I-C.
And that word ruined me. That misspelling set into motion the domino effect that has cursed every non-entertainment related (or teaching related) speaking presentation I’ve ever given.
Oh sure. I can get up and sing. I can do a monologue that transforms me into a six year old. I can friggin’ tap dance and twirl flags. But never ask me to make a toast at a wedding. Never suggest I should be the mouthpiece for a cause. Forget about having me be the one to stand a a podium and thank a guest for coming. Never ask me to speak off the cuff about anything.
It’s supposed to be Public Speaking, but it turns into P-U-B-I-C speaking for me. Suddenly, I feel like I have a short little hair stuck in my teeth. And then it moves to my tongue. And gets stuck in my throat. So what do i do?
I’ll know my stuff, but I’ll babble.
Just so I can get that damn hair out of my mouth.
So how can I get around it? Breathe. I’m told breathing helps. Shrinky says to breath. We’ll find out how all my breathing goes tommorrow, when I make an oral presentation of my thesis.
I’ve psyched myself up. Basically I’m teaching these people something. Teaching is easy. I’ve taught before.
It’s high energy. It’s me. It’s all Oldbitey and friends. It’s a stage production and I was in lots of those.
It’s anything BUT P-U-B-I-C speaking.
Now I just have to believe that.