Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Singing For My Supper

Like most people, I have a fear of public speaking.

But I also love it.

Kind of like riding a roller-coaster; half of you dread's it, the other half is looking forward to it.

Today I spoke at a retirement lunch for a co-worker at Officeland II B. For some reason I was really wound up for this. I worked hard on my speech, writing it, and re-writing it several times. I practiced it on the long car ride to Officeland II B.

If I say so myself, what I wrote was funny. I figured that the person retiring was going to be feted with all kinds of sentimental words, and I wanted to do something totally out of left field, so I made up a fake biography of the guy taking some real-life facts and then mixing them up with silly anecdotes that were the product of my twisted mind.

I was kind of hoping that I'd go first, that I'd get to say my thing and then enjoy the rest of the event ... of course that was not to be. I did not get to go on until after everyone ate. My stomach was in knots.

It was a nice turnout, there were people at this event that I'd not seen in years. Former and current employees ... one hell of a turnout.

When my turn finally came, I stood up and talked. My hands were shaking, and my heart was racing, as I looked out on the sea of faces. However, as I spoke, I found a receptive audience. They laughed at all the right parts, and a few of them even howled at a couple of good matured digs I threw into my speech.

And man, that felt good!

Of course, I was still a nervous wreck, adrenaline coursing through my body. But I managed to finish up with out racing through the talk, and got a rousing round of applause when through and an appreciative thank you from the guest of honor.

However, when I sat down, I found myself hyperventilating, and had to leave the room and step outside to calm down.

I remember reading somewhere that some actors and singers have oxygen tanks kept backstage because they suffer from such stage fright that they need canned air to regulate their breathing when they finish a performance.

Since I did not have an oxygen tank I had to settle for some deep breathing.

The funny thing is, once I calmed down, I was all ready to get back up and do it again.

I love public speaking!

Next time, though, I am bringing an oxygen tank.

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