Public Speaking 101
Last month I nervously accepted an offer to speak to creative writing students at a local high school. I prepared. I thought about my personal journey. I made a power point. I had nightmares of sweaty angst-ridden teenagers stewing through my boring presentation, throwing tomatoes and chewed pencils at me. I went. I spoke. It wasn't so bad. Then a couple weeks later I received a packet of thank-you notes in the mail. I rolled my eyes, thinking, oh great...I'm sure they loved having to do that! Then I started reading them and I was overwhelmed. I laughed. I teared up. I, surprisingly, felt inspired knowing I had inspired. There were comments about how easy it was for them to connect with me. How they loved my laugh, learned more than they thought they would. Some said they felt like they had a better chance of becoming a writer after they heard me speak. And, the clincher for me, a student who proclaimed the date I spoke as the turning point in which all life made sense. (I had his letter laminated to whip out whenever my husband wants to argue with me). But seriously, what a lovely bunch of young adults. And, what a lovely feeling they gave me back.