Hello friends. I have a confession to make: I am petrified of public speaking. I know, I know, many of you will ask how then am I in a profession where speaking is all I really do and I shrug in reply. Somehow, safely ensconced inside a Courtroom, cocooned in a world of black coats, talking about the facts of someone else’s life, I find my comfort zone. Any other kind of speech makes me nervous: butterflies flit about in my tummy and I constantly feel like I am on a roller coaster that is going down a tad too fast. For as long as I remember it has always been that way. In school, dramas or plays were fine, once I was on stage with my rehearsed lines, I was fine. But debates left my hands ice cold and impromptu speeches are just something I never did. “Just say a few words” are words I dread, they always have me diving under the table for cover! And elocution? Why, I am just about as expressive as a dead goat!
But this time, I’ve been cornered well and proper. There’s no escaping it this time; yes, I’m talking about the coming book launch this weekend. It’s so easy to write, to pen one’s thoughts on paper for the world to see. You can place your entire world in scribbles on a page, and you can fill it with lies or reality as you wish. But speaking? Reading? Talking about myself? I’m utterly tongue tied. “Just say why you wrote the book” says my coordinator…..
“It’s in the book, why don’t people just read it themselves?”
“Okay just talk about yourself.”
“All I can think is, I’m nervous, can I say that?”
“No you cannot. And nothing about being crazy either, or tactless!”
“But that’s who I am: it’s defined me all my life!”
“Don’t be idiotic, read something from the book.”
“No, no, no, I’m too shy.”
“Ha, stop being a nit!” The arguments fly back and forth, my husband has joined in on the conversation and he frowns disappointingly at me, “…be serious, tell us what you want to do!” They both turn and look at me expectantly.
“Okay,” I say, quietly, hesitatingly. “Can’t I just hide under the table?”
If murder was legal, I do believe I would be dead by now (to be honest, I actually found it quite funny)! Write down a speech they said, we will look at it. So this is what I was trying to do. Well, I’ve failed again, haven’t I?