Public Prattle

I loathe public speaking. Detest it above all else. My face flames crimson, my vocal chords tighten and my mind performs a massive data dump. My dad Tony offered to send me/pay for a Dale Carnegie course once, but the discussion made my palms sweat. I'd rather visit the dentist and the gynecologist in the same afternoon. At a training hospital. And have the procedures televised.

Last month, I was volun-told to be our representative at the two week SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention) Course. I didn't mind the ten-hour days or the topic, and the soldiers were infinitely more interesting than my co-workers. Unfortunately, I'm now responsible for giving 3-hour blocks of training to approximately 80 people in our directorate, in groups of 15 at a time. Just thinking obsessing about it sends me into pre-stroke territory.

"Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent."
~ Dionysius of Halicarnassus


flooz said...

I suppose the old trick of calming yourself by picturing your audience in their underwear or nude would not appropriate, considering the topic.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Use camcorder to record a lecture that people can view at their leisure. Then set up email account where people can direct their questions. Reward yourself with trip to happy hour.

Carol Q said...

If you write a script and know exactly what you want to say, you kind of go on auto-pilot. Your heart may be pounding so hard you can't hear what you are saying, but when you finish and look at the audience, you'll know that you did it. The QA part is easier because it is like you are talking to one person. Good luck!

TQ said...

"If you can do it once, you can do it twice. If you can do it twice, you can make a habit of it". Know that 99% of your audience is just glad that it is not them. I find that a twisted sense of humor helps in this situation.

ColleenQ said...

Flooz: you make me laugh. I'll let you know how many hole-filled tighty whities I "see"...

Laoch: I actually have a Powerpoint cd to follow - I'll probably make a few copies to pass along. And the happy hour? That's a given. ;)

Mom: great advice, but have you met me? I'm too much of a procrastinator to work on this in advance...haha. And sometimes talking to one person is one person too many.

TQ: is that first time I'm paralyzed about. Twisted humor is always good, but sexual assault may be the one area that's difficult to find humor.