If you met me and spoke to me at work or in a bar or randomly while waiting for a train you would assume me confident, out-going and very talkative. My father, genetically and informatively, gave me a tad of his charisma and I use it wisely – a bit like if I had The Force – however one of these days I will have to confront my fear of public speaking.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited on the ABC’s Big Ideas show to take part in a debate on “Is the screen mightier than the sword?” and before the show I was absolutely bricking myself that I would freeze, swear, kick over the lectern or simply strip off my shirt shouting “I’m Spartacus”.
Thankfully I didn’t do any of those things. Well except from swear. I may have done that by accident. Oh and I may have also froze. And I did think about kicking the lectern when I said something totally and utterly dumb.
I don’t know where my fear comes from. I have acted on stage and never really got butterflies and always enjoyed it but there is something about public speaking that freaks me out.
I used social media examples as a way to prove the screen was indeed mightier than the sword and I believe that as technology increases we will enter a better world for all mankind. More communication is no bad thing.
But while talking at the event my hands were shaking so I grabbed on to the lectern to try and stabilise myself only to find it was a it wobbly – so if you do watch the program feel free to not think I’m drunk. I’m just sober and unstable. Not mentally unstable. Well maybe a little.
My throat dried up as I was speaking.
I blabbed on in my Scottish accent throwing words out as fast as that General Electrics M134 mini-gun in Predator shoots bullets. The one that Blane uses.
My timed nine minute speech was suddenly over in seven minutes.
Maybe it’s better to say less than more but what if you said more but in the less timeframe??
I didn’t know what to do. Do I stand there and keep making my point? Or do I walk away and run back to my seat crying Freedom!!
I did neither of course. I said thank you, looked sheepish and stealth’d back to my seat.
Doing the talk reminded me that I should stick to talking to small groups and generally hiding in the background rather than being the centre of attention. I don’t like it when people focus on me – maybe for fear they will see the real me? An over-weight, greying, stubbly, short Scotsman with a wonky eye.