I don’t necessarily have a fear of public speaking, but it isn’t really my favorite thing. If it’s as simple as standing in front of a crowd reading from index cards, I can do that. They prepare you in school with 3-5 minutes speeches starting in middle school and then you move on through to high school with various presentations. My first speech was on Babe Ruth in Mr. Leslie’s class and it was a real bore. I spent hours making these charts displaying how many hr’s he hit each year and I didn’t even use them as a prop. My next speech was a demonstrative speech where I showed some yo-yo tricks. This one was a lot better and I even repeated it again in college. I still remember how to go around the world, rock the cradle, walk the dog, shoot the moon, and other various ones. I had a speech in college where I was speaking and literally forgot everything. I stood there shaking being that “guy” that froze up and couldn’t speak right. It still haunts me to this day.
That’s background for my next topic. If I have to ad-lib off the top of my brain, houston, we have a problem. A huge fear of mine would be to go in front of a crowd as a stand up comic, with people watching, and then trying to entertain them with jokes. I don’t tell jokes. I can’t tell jokes. I’m not sure if people have a database of jokes in their brain that they can just use anytime. Not me. I remember having a dinner with a bunch of work related people who I never met before and this one random guy was busting out these knee slappers and everyone was in tears loving it. I’m sitting there thinking, “the only joke I know is why can’t stevie wonder read and I don’t think this is the time or the place.” Do people sit in their rooms memorizing jokes just so they can be a huge hit when it comes to social situations? Even if I know a joke, I will mess it up while I’m telling it. Either I’ll forget the exact punchline, or halfway through I’ll realize it’s not funny and then I have to try to make something up and that just makes things worse.
The reason I thought of this is because I’m reading this John Grisham book and the main character is a 1st year associate in a law firm having dinner with a bunch of partners and it said he felt out of place and didn’t have much to add to the conversation. So this reminded me of my dinner in the example where I sat there with nothing to talk about feeling retarded because I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to say. Now when I’m loaded this isn’t even a blip on my radar. I can pretty much shoot the shit about anything with anyone after some drinks, but if I’m on good behavior, awkwardness occurs from time to time. This brings me back to joke telling. If you have an arsenal of good jokes, it’s a good way to break the ice and people think you are funny which is usually a plus. You don’t want to be the jester but I think people prefer to befriend extroverts than introverts, because it’s less boring.
I don’t know what it is about the pressure being put on public speakers. I am amazed how people like Dane Cook and other stand ups can entertain 20,000 people for hours at a time. I get this sinking feeling in my stomach and my brain starts spazzing and then words turn to mush. I haven’t had to give a presentation in years and I think I’ve probably matured past the nervousness. I sort of think now that nothing in this world is that important that its worth getting crazy over. If you flunk a test and think it’s a big deal, the world is a lot bigger than your test.
I thought these size examples were pretty interesting to show how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things
Now I know this isn’t my usual weird unusual rant about something that bothers me. But there is this feeling of complete let down and disappointment when you visit someones blog and they haven’t updated it in days. I think people will cut you some slack if you skip a day but if you start skipping day after day then people will replace you. I don’t have the amount of traffic that I would like but eventually I hope to get there. I’ll try to keep putting up reasonably interesting content even if my life is undeniably usual and boring. Stay tuned.
I have this “I” looming next to the first picture and I thought
would bring it down under the last picture but it isn’t working. Anyone who knows HTML please tell me what I’m doing wrong because I’m a noob.