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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Win Some, Lose Some

I had the opportunity to speak about the market this evening at the meeting of a local social club. Sometimes I walk away from these types of events feeling pretty much satisfied with myself. Public speaking may not be my thing, but I can generally muddle through it. At the very least, I can write myself a pretty darned good script and if I remember to stay on script, I do okay. This was not one of those times.

To start, I've pretty much had a rough day for no particular reason. Have been suffering from that light-headed, bordering-on-the-sniffles feeling. Not enough to say I'm under the weather, but enough to ask myself if I'm headed that way. Tried to be efficient this morning and run a bunch of errands and ended up running myself into frustration as people weren't where I needed them to be and things kept getting added to my list that I thought I'd taken care of earlier this week. It was just a day of fumbles.

Then this group, though they were very nice and pleasant, pretty clearly had no interest in becoming vendors at the farmers market, which was the theme of my talk. As well, I had written a bit of "humor" into the presentation thinking that one of my favorite vendors was going to be at the meeting. He wasn't there, and therefore my "dialogue" with the audience fell completely flat.

I also made the critical mistake of conserving paper and printing my notes in a fairly small font. Thirty seconds into my talk, they turned out the lights to better see the visual presentation that went along with my talk. I couldn't have read my script if I wanted to.

And with all of this coming together so badly, I pretty much ceased breathing as I spoke and so got all weak-voiced and breathless. I hate when that happens.

The bright spot was this sweet, sweet little lady who sat near the front and smiled at me and responded with head nods and agreement at everything I said. When I saw that a few of the audience members were literally drifting off to sleep, I just focused on her and was thankful that she was choosing to cheer me on.

The weird thing is I don't even feel bad about it. Like I said, they were very nice folks and they invited me to stay for snacks. Several of them were regular market shoppers, and it was nice to hear their kind words about the market. On the way home, I had about a dozen ideas for ways I could have directed the talk to make it fit this group better as an audience. But what is done is done.

It is a day after a string of three very long, very productive days. I was due for a break.

3 comments:

heymom said...

For what it's worth, you're probably reading more into your audience's response(or lack of response)than they were truly experiencing. I'm sure you probably were just fine. But, I do understand those feelings of being just a little "off" some days:-)

bs said...

Sounds like a friendly audience.
All speakers have the horror story
about the hackler who supposedly
knew more then the speaker and
would not shut up when you are
trying to be the speaker.

cheryl said...

I agree with what heymom said. But I can also relate to the feeling of "feeling off."

In the big scheme of things, what does one talk really matter? It's just one moment of life and we move on.

But we always feel grateful for the person in the front row or the third row, the one with the bright eyes who is paying attention. There's a good chance that she needed you that day as much as you needed her.