9.19.2007

speaking... the public variety

Since I was not going back to school this fall, I thought I should at least take some sort test this year... but I didn't really want to put too much energy into it, so I found a test that questions me on something I know quite a bit about... myself! Here are the results of my personality test:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Am I surprised by the results??? Hardly! If anything, I am surprised that I am not 100% extraverted!

Surprising, however, would describe my behavior today (as compared to the results above) during an "All Hands Meeting." We had a 150 person meeting at the Marriott today - I kind of felt like I was at a wedding reception... um, without the bar, or the dancing, or the centerpieces, or the favors, or the white dress and tux... and instead of toasts, we had speakers with power point presentations. Pretty much the same thing. Riiiiight...

Anyyyywayyyy... as with all "All Hands Meetings" (can you use repeated words if you are using quotes), we had a breakout session for some random activity, and I was the scribe. Partly because I love writing with Mr. Sketch markers (we had the yummy blueberry scent), and partly because I wanted to get out of my chair. After we compiled our illustrious list of positives and challenges (don't say positives and negatives, because in holding with buzzword lingo rule 10.c, all negatives are to be referred to as challenges or obstacles), they asked for a representative on each team to present our top two items to the room. Since I was the uber-dork that jumped up to use the (sniiiiiiiiiif) blueberry marker, my team unanimously voted me the speaker before I could even put the cap back on the marker and enjoy my last inhale.

We were table 13, and as they were working their way from table 1... table 2... up to our lucky number, I felt the familiar panic setting in... My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking, and my mind was at odds...
Halo: "There is nothing to be nervous about - you know all these people"
Horns: "But you have never liked public speaking"
Halo: "All you have to say are two stupid things"
Horns: "But they are approaching with a microphone"
Halo: "Nobody will even remember what you said"
Horns: "Unless you totally fuck it up"
...I know, I shouldn't reveal my inner thoughts. They have trucker mouths!

As I sat in my red and gold diamond patterned banquet chair, sweating, shaking, and breathing quickly, they decided to sneak up on me, and suddenly, microphone Vanna chick was in my face, waiting for me to bestow my brilliant comments upon the crowd. (Yikes, I think my heart rate is going up just typing this)! I quickly said my lines (forgetting to say my name), and sat back down. It was all a blur. I remember as much from that 30 seconds as a young freshman girl would remember about a frat party come Sunday morning.

I don't understaaaaaaaand (read in a whiny voice). I LOVE to talk... Verizon can vouch for that fact! All 14 pages of my cell phone bill, listing each call and the ungodly total minutes used per month. Sometimes I wonder how many minutes actually are in a month, but I am afraid of the answer. WHY can't I master talking in front of a crowd? And it isn't all crowds... I can talk in front of small crowds. In fact, I lead sessions at work. Small sessions. Not a problem. In fact, I like doing that kind of stuff. I am always the person with a comment. On Monday, I was cajoled by my team, because in one day, I uttered the strange phrases, "I don't have any questions" and "I am ambivalent"... both in one day! They all asked if I was okay, or if an alien had possessed me.

It has always been like this for me - speaking at weddings is terrible... and yes, I have tried the age-old trick: attempting to dull the nerves with some champagne (but not Bud Light - I have seen how those toasts go). Strangely, it doesn't seem to help. In fact, Scout reports that it just makes me talk faster. SofastthatyoucanhardlyunderstandwhatIamsaying.

So, I will add another item to my lifetime "to do" list: master speaking in front of crowds. (Knees knocking as I add it to my mental list)... I am off to have horrible nightmares about standing in front of a crowd.

5 comments:

The Ramsey Family said...

Reading this made my heart rate go up just thinking about getting up in front of people. This is a GREAT entry. You crack me up!!! Have a good day and thanks for the laugh

- J.L.O. said...

Hey, I just had to take one of those personality tests for a job interview. I ended up ENFJ.

Tahoe said...

Now I know what to get you for your birthday . . . TOASTMASTERS membership! ha

Worked for my dad. :-)

I hear you on public speaking, I can't even do small group speaking. Ugh. I actually blacked out once in front of an auditorium if that makes you feel any better.

Also, can't believe you said, "I am ambivalent" I don't think I have ever heard that used other than on Dawson's Creek. :-)

Alisa Hamilton said...

I hate the public speaking as well and will avoid at all costs. At least your face doesn't turn bright red! I'm sure mine does.

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