Thursday, July 26, 2007

On Public Speaking

I had my first public speaking appearance, for Toys for Troops, this week. There were 15,000 people in attendance.

I've discovered that, when there are 15,000 people before me:
  • I get emotional and cry when I "practice." I have a very hard time saying "My son is a soldier in the U.S. Army," without crying.
  • But I can say it okay, in front of 15,000 people. I didn't cry. Yay for me.
  • I get cotton mouth. My tongue is like a nice warm terry cloth towel, and I have to fight back an urge to make gagging-up-hairball sounds.
  • My voice wavers, and I insert words in places they should not be, and I laugh nervously, like this: "heh heh."
  • I develop a Palsy. My hands shake like leaves.
  • I cannot, with the palsy, hold my own microphone with one hand. When the microphone begins spinning like a baton, I have to grab my right hand with my left, to keep it steady.
  • I cannot judge if I'm talking into the microphone, or not. When my voice gets loud, I jump.
  • When my audience of 15,000 gasps at the idea of 7000 beanies, I like it.
  • When my audience of 15,000 applauds, which I totally do not expect, I nearly drop the microphone, and I get all breathless and forget what I was going to say.
Oh, and one more thing:
  • I lose any ability to make an accurate head-count of my audience: Photographic evidence later reveals that 15,000 stern, scrutinizing adults were really about 50 happy little kids in a vacation bible school.

I have no idea what I said to them.


  1. You are hilarous. I truly believed you.

  2. Really - what a hilarious post. I was laughing out loud!!

    I think you're a great public speaker.

  3. I was freaking out for you all through the post FIFTEEN THOUSAND !!!

    That was great ... and I bet those kids loved what you said.

    ^5 Lori

  4. As a public speaker, I applaud you. I would rather face 15,000 stern adults than 50 happy kids at Vacation Bible School ANY FREAKIN' DAY! They gasped. They applauded. Who cares what you said. You had 'em. YAY YOU!

  5. Hi G

    Ok, I'm done wiping the tears from my eyes now and I can actually see the screen again. That was Beautiful, though I expect I'll be chuckling the rest of the night... Awesome G...

  6. OMG! That totally made me laugh. I'm sure you did great!

  7. Add me to the list of those crying with laughter!

    You are TOO MUCH!


  8. I wouldn't be able to talk in public to an audience of 10 household pets. Kudos to you.

  9. Love it. I'm sure you were great. Only you know what it was like; they probably think you do this all the time!

  10. I believed you, too! This is so awesome though - what a wonderful thing to do for the kids!

  11. I stole his strategy from some comedy sketch somewhere, but I regulary walk around with pennies stuffed in my ass. Then, I put those pennies back in circulation. Then, whenever I give a public presentation I think: "You know, I may be uncomfortable but everbody out there may be holding a penny that was once stuffed up my ass." Some how, this empowers me.

  12. Public Speaking is matter where it is but at least in a bible school you'll be forgiven.

  13. sweetie, you make me laugh and this is too fun! I'm so proud of you. Now that you have some experience you can come help me every Friday, but instead of talking about TOYS you'll be talking about GOD and the BIBLE. Can I get an Amen?

  14. So...I keep coming back here to find the post on The Boy from the previous entry and what do I find about him?



    You gotta spill...

    Even my word verification agrees with me this evening. "hoodat" So...who dat???????

  15. I gab for a living(salesman!)I can talk to a small group (30 or less without a problem. For every 30 you add to that, my voice goes up 1 octave, until at 200 people, dogs are howling....
    Keep up your good work!

  16. So sweet. I had a chuckle when I scrolled down to see the picture. I'm sure you're a great speaker. ( Cos you're a great blogger !!)

  17. I face the same situations as you do and for that reason I have joined a toastmaster club.That helped me a lot.

  18. It was good practice for when you really have to talk to 15,000 which will no doubt be sooner than later.

  19. LOL!
    I bet you could sail through a talk to an audience of 15,000 NO PROBLEM!
    After all, you regularly blog to millions! ;)

  20. Thanks for your comments, ya'll. I can't imagine standing in front of 15,000 people without throwing up or passing out cold.

    Greg Kline, Every time I hear you on your radio show, from here on out, I think of your pennies...and use my debit card, thank you very much.


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