Thoughts on Public Speaking

In Texas, I had my first public speaking engagement as an author. I was so nervous! I excel in saying the wrong things or making a fool of myself. This was another opportunity to do that. To my surprise, it turned out just fine. The people of Cross Plains, Texas are very friendly and caring, and I found myself easily making friends there. They were a great audience and I appreciated very much the opportunity to talk about my books. They treated Hubby and I out to a great supper at Mexico City Café where the food was delicious. I recommend it.
I’ve never spent much time as the center of attention. My natural spot seems to be in the corner as far away from the limelight as I can get. So being pushed out of my comfort zone into the spotlight is a little stressful, yet exciting for me. It leaves me wondering why anyone would think I have something interesting to say.
When my kids left home, I wondered how it would feel to have just me and Hubby around. I found it’s been great to be a couple again. And I found I finally had time for me. I had so many things that I’d put off because of doing things for and with the kids or Hubby. Now, I had time to do my stuff. I started small, with taking quilting lessons. I read a lot of books and traveled during the school year because we didn’t have to be home for the kids.
I started writing books while working although I didn’t have time to really hone them into something I would let anyone else read. While I was working, I didn’t have time to take classes or attend workshops that would help me learn writing skills. Now that I’m retired, I can do that and appreciate it all the more because I am finally getting to do what I want to do.
I’ve given talks in public before, mainly at history or archeological conferences on technical papers I’ve written. I gave the salutatory address during my high school graduation. I’ve been in charge of programs and emceed events. I told jokes during our clogging performances. So speaking in public is nothing new. But this time, it’s about me. It’s about my writing. And my writing is a piece of me that I’ve shared with others. That’s intimidating! I’ve said a lot of prayers for help in not making a fool of myself, but rather that I inspire others. That’s the pinnacle of public speaking.

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