Public speaking

Public speaking has never (ever, ever) been my forte. I remember the first time I had to speak in front of a group of people, in a debate class. I almost fainted from hyperventilation and sheer terror.

Neville author talk, photo by Joanne Nolan
Neville author talk, photo by Joanne Nolan

As an adult, I don’t fare much better (on the inside, at least). I think I’m okay, or okay-ish, but when the time comes, it turns out, I am not, or not-ish.

Have you ever seen the movie, Broadcast News? The scene where Aaron (played by actor Albert Brooks) experiences flop sweats when he does his first live newscast? Well, that was me. Did I mention it was 99 degrees that day? The air conditioner was no match for the room full of people, the heat of the day, and my angst.

Turns out, it didn’t matter. I felt the fear (oh, man, did I!) but I did it anyway.

Everyone who came to listen was very kind and gracious. They all made me feel welcome. They didn’t mind that I had stop to blot my face a couple of times during my talk. Some even gave me some (valuable) feedback about what they thought I did especially well.

For which I am forever grateful.


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