Frequently I meet people who want to be out there public speaking at events and keynote seminars.
When I ask them what they would speak about some say a personal story, others aren’t sure, most think it’s glamourous. Isn’t public speaking supposed to be glamorous?
The morning of my last presentation was challenging. It was difficult getting out of bed because somehow, I managed to hurt my back during the night. No, it was not a cowboy. I crawled out of bed thinking how in the world will I be able to deliver a speech and hide the fact I was in excruciating pain? After some slow stretching and moving my hips around …no it was not a cowboy! I started to loosen up a bit despite the fact that I felt like a statue. The show must go on.
The next obstacle would be dressing. After struggling into my skirt and blouse came the real challenge, strapping the small buckle of my heels.
I looked at my heels and they looked back at me. Game on.
Sitting on the bed, I placed one foot into my skin colored heel and slowly bent over to buckle the ankle strap. No luck not even close. Then I managed to lift my lower leg onto the bed in order to reach the buckle, but I could barely see it. Crap, where are my glasses? Gradually I put my foot down, slowly slid the shoe off and searched for my glasses. I’m starting to feel anxious and worried about running late, since I had not planned for this event.
At a snail’s pace I eventually was able to strap those little suckers securely. Feeling clammy and complemented with sweaty armpits, I tell myself, the show must go on. (I have a new respect for performers).
Advil, Tylenol, Ibuprofen I need something. Vodka is a good idea but getting fired is not.
Grabbing an overpriced package of Motrin, I painfully made my way to the registration counter to pay. The attendant could see I was about to pass out and offered to open the Motrin for me. His first attempt was unsuccessful, “Hold on, I need to get some scissors.” He drops two pills in my palm and then we both stare at my palm “Would you care for some water?” “Yes, thank you and I need to pay you.” He brings me a bottle of cold water and decides not to charge me. I think he wanted me to go away as quickly as possible.
Attendees are coming and going. Coffee, bagels, muffins and fruit. I look for water. Boring water. The chocolate muffin was screaming my name, yet I sadly ignored it. Even though my back continued to hurt, I found myself walking fairly straight and without wincing. I feel unusual now. Different, dizzy, perhaps drunk? Side effects of Motrin on an empty stomach, joy. I will drink another boring bottle of water.
The grand ballroom appears to be the center of laughter, chatter and excitement while people enter to find the perfect seat. I decide to go to the restroom…just in case. Once I get back to the ballroom, I begin to think I better go back to the bathroom. Do I, or don’t I? How much time do I have? My inner voice says stop deliberating and go to the bathroom. Stop drinking water, Holly!
The event ended like they all do and I made it back to my regular life, or irregular life however you want to phrase it. Public Speaking is not exactly what I would call glamorous, however sharing stories that inspire others to open their hearts is beyond glamourous.