Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bad Show Old Boy...

Ramblings Post #15
Sometimes it's not like riding a bike... you DO forget. It took me eight years to get my Sweet Potato Pie filling to taste my grandmothers, and I'm still working on getting the crust. But I stopped making it once a month or so last fall when law school started. So I tried in December and damned if it wasn't like I'd never made it at all. Some skills get rusty. And damned if something else didn't pick up a coat of rust. Damned passage of time.

So this morning the Black Law Students Assoc. has a little workshop for the first year's to go over their oral presentations. There aren't all that many of us Black Students there anyway, and they are helpful when they try, so them come out was big considering kids and other life responsibilities. The Workshop was kind of a dry run, so you can do it in front of somebody who will be looking to see how your actually doing and get critiqued and not just do it front of your cat. Not that the cat is an extremely bad judge of character, it's just that they're notes are usually sloppy. And I don't have a cat.

So I'm thinking I got this. I mean "used" to speak all the time, I love the crowd, I get out in front. But I hem and haw at it like I know I'm the natural and don't have to even show my skillz. I've already worked out a flow, I've seen a couple of demos, looked at the some film, you know, I'm ready coach, put me in the game! Practice? Dude, we talking about practice!

My I was feeling arrogant about the whole thing wasn't I?

Then I get up there. And damn if I don't start out smooth and cool, with that used salesman patter that makes you suddenly start thinking you could use an 83' Buick, Junior really doesn't need college, does he? Smooth tones, hands on the podium, looking confident. And then thirty seconds later...I got nothing.

It was like a blinked and bam, I suddenly realized I'm not just bullshittin', I need to know the facts and how to present them. The other folks know as much as me, if not more. I stuttered, I repeated, I talked to myself out loud, I was like it was my first time public speaking. Then I realized it was my first time public speaking in like years. I even had a twinge in my gut? WTF? I had fallen out of practice.

If this ain't about a Kool-aid drinking...

The critique was good. I needed better flow, better prep, what to ask. The ladies of the group gave me a good working over, and my flow isn't as good as I thought, my transitions are horrible... talk about ego crash and burn.

So other than this bit of fooling around, and some cooking, I'm breaking out the camera that has video capability, and damn if I'm not gonna get this heya right. Well, not too right, I just need to not look stupid.

Barkeep, do they make a drink with St. John's Wort?


Martin Ng said...

A bit of failure every now and then is good for a public speaker! Gives you some realism.

Anonymous said...

Never ceases to amaze me how many public speakers or those giving interviews (including well known celebrities) who fill their time full of "ummmm"'s, "hmmmmmmm"'s, and the worst offender "you know". No, I "don't know". If I "did know", I would be the one giving the speech or interview and YOU would be sitting at home watching the telly and could be assured there would be none of those speech fillers to be found.