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Friday, March 23, 2012

For Talking Out Loud

       Next Tuesday I have to go and talk to some elementary students about children's writing-type stuff.  I've been doing this for a number of years but I still don't like the public speaking part.  I love what I'm talking about and I love the kids but I don't love getting up in front of them.  It's a well-documented fact that speaking in front of people ranks as one of the average person's top fears and I am no exception.  There are courses and hints and relaxation techniques to ease us through that public speaking fear, but I still don't like it.   However, I know for a fact that there are a few things that definitely won't help.

Do not eat blueberries for breakfast.  Or parsley with your sandwich at lunch.  It is a good thing to have people smile up at you. It is not a good thing if the smiling is due to a giant blue blob stuck to your central incisor.
Make sure your fly is zipped.
Make sure your shoes match.
Make sure you put earrings in both ears. Make sure they also match.
Know the name of your school or group.  Do not call "Laurel Highland" "Laurel and Hardy." Nervousness will make you do that kind of thing.
Keep tissues handy in case you sneeze.
Maintain visual contact with your microphone cord at all times. The moment you don't know where it is, it is around your left ankle.
And finally, ladies, wear pants. Otherwise turning and bending down to retrieve a book or two off of a nearby table may result in your additionally grabbing the hem of your skirt and flashing the audience.  Your audience may enjoy the sharing of personal anecdotes, but the brand of control top panty hose that you wear is something they need not know.
So come Tuesday morning I may remind myself of the three tips that I recall from a public speaking course I took years and years ago - wear red, open with a joke, and imagine the audience in their underwear.  I just pray they don't get a flash of mine.

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