Thursday, February 16, 2017

Did She Really Say That?

Public speaking just isn’t my thing.

Now, I know what you’re going to say – there’s a support group for that. Or – practice makes perfect, you just have to do it more in order to get better! Or – me either, I’m introverted, dadgummit! I hear your eyes rolling.

Sidebar: introversion as a special problem is over. The entire internet is for introverts. It’s not so special. Let’s find something else to discuss.

Anyway, about public speaking: I’m no stranger to it. I’ve had to present information to groups, make speeches, give instructions to a crowd, pray, teach classes, and even act in a play before, and every time it’s just a disaster. I panicked and stuttered during my own wedding vows. Sometimes I’ll even go blank in conversations when I notice that someone is really listening to what I am saying.

When speaking publicly, I sometimes feel nauseated, experience heart palpitations, sweat profusely, and have ringing in my ears, among other pleasant symptoms. Later, I’ll replay the scenario over and over and cry into my pillow because of my cringeworthy uselessness.

For many years I’d balk at speaking in public when asked, and turn people down easily and graciously. It’s just a train wreck, I’d explain ever so nicely. You don’t want me up there. My incompetence will distract from the real message. I’m not your girl.

But then after a while, I noticed that people don’t care how stupid I am in public. I am my own worst enemy; most people don’t notice that I’m ridiculous, and if they do, they're either too embarrassed for me to mention it or else I’m making them feel better about their own inflated yet unquestionably mediocre ability to kill it onstage.

And I also realized that if I speak from the heart, and don’t worry so much about how I’m perceived – even if half the room thinks I’m terrible – who cares? Most people are too polite or don't care enough to tell a person that they stunk up the room, and by the way, I’m not accepting a Nobel prize, and most of the world doesn’t hear those speeches anyway because the people who win those prizes are a bunch of nerds.


So, with that in mind, I’m totally taking public speaking offers. Yes, you heard that right. For an exorbitant fee, of course. I still get the nervous sweats, and I’m not dealing with that for free.

So if you want someone to mess up your event with a lackluster and possibly embarrassing address (because not only do I tend to freeze up, but I may also swear and/or share inappropriately), I’m your girl.

If you need someone around to fill the seat at the table for someone who says wildly inappropriate things that distract everybody from real life, so that they go home and wonder “how drunk was she?” instead of lamenting their own poor choices, I’m there.

If you need someone to stand in front of a crowd and make them feel better about every single vulnerability they own because she is up there making a nincompoop of herself by forgetting what planet she hails from, call me.


Sure, sometimes my heart says weird and improper things, blanks on common words and phrases, forgets how to pronounce my own name, and drops whole storylines and directions of conversation, but hey, it’s my heart talking. I dare you to tell me my heart is wrong.

Seriously. I’m available.


This post inspired by:

Mama Kat's Writing Workshop

Prompt #4: Write a blog post inspired by the word: heart.


  1. You are a brave lady. I know exactly what you mean about public speaking. I thought as I got older and wiser I'd only be more comfortable with it, but that is just NOT the case! Without the internet I'd be lost. And I'll keep you in mind if I ever need to get out of speaking or I want to watch someone else mess up my event. ;)

  2. You described me to a t! I'm so at home on the internet for all these exact reasons. I love your humor <3

  3. The nervousness goes away, you just learn to use it to your advantage. Good luck with the speaking business.

  4. I love this! When you speak from your heart you speak to mine! So funny.

  5. After a number of speaking engagements I realized it just isn't for me. I can't do it. It's not worth the weeks of anxiety leading up to the event and while I can speak from the heart, it doesn't come out in complete sentences. I would gladly pay YOU to speak for me at any upcoming events!