Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Public Speaking

I had to speak this morning at an 8:30am meeting full of sales people.

Of course I was semi-freaking out. Yes, I have experience with speaking in front of large groups, but it's been a while and I'm pretty sure it made me nervous even when I did it regularly.

So I made my outline, wrote it out, revised it, practiced it in my head (WITH the "Hi, I'm Ashley, Head Mom at blahblahblah", like I'm going to forget to introduce myself??) over and over, even in my sleep.

Woke up super early, got myself ready, got the kids up and ready so my mom could get them to school, raced there reciting my speech complete with pauses for chuckles and various voice inflections. Got there in time, but they don't just let anyone "back there" so I had to wait for an escort. They paged him and then paged him again and then wandered around looking for him. 15 minutes after the meeting had started, he finally waves me through the door of an old, small, crowded room full of sales people and says "This is Ashley, everyone. Go ahead."

Um, wait. I was going to put down my purse first. At least not plop it on the table in front of me with papers hanging out and whatnot. I needed some cleansing breaths. I kind of need to go potty.

But whatever, no time for that, so I get started. I start off really well but as time goes on and I'm watching these people watching me (bored people, mostly) my nerves get me and I start talking faster than I mean to. I also shoved the wrong side of hair behind my ear and I know I wasn't looking all MILF-like as planned.

I know it went well and I know it was by no means painful to watch, but I was more nervous than I would've liked. I talked too fast and fidgeted (that's why I made the fucking hair move, damn fidgeting). But would it have killed them to chuckle during the chuckle breaks? Some more smiles while I was making eye contact could've helped tremendously. There were some smiles and some note taking, but I noticed the bored people. Bored people, take note next time you're watching someone speak and try to look alive a little. Then I answered some questions and someone asked how old my boys were and when I answered 5 and 2, they said I should bring the 2 year old next time, that it would be fine if I ever need to.

I burst out laughing at that point and assured them that it would not be fine and he was actually the reason I know how important being able to socialize online can be because it's too risky to take him in public. I can picture him crawling through the seats in that crowded room, drinking people's coffee and going through their purses. Yeah, um, thanks but no thanks. We'll leave that to the professionals.

I have enough issues without bringing my #1 issue to work with me.

So, Executive Ashley needs a refresher course and I'm hoping that was it. All in all I did good though, I'm just mostly glad it's over. How many hours of worry for 5 minutes of talking??

11 comments:

Me said...

I had somebody start talking on their cell phone when I was speaking. You would think that was bad enough, but another time I had somebody whip out their laptop and start checking their email while I was speaking.

People can be assholes.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Forget about it. Those things are always WAY worse in your head than they actually are, promise!

TentCamper said...

I hate public speaking. I used to own a public relations firm and had to do a lot of speaking. It drove me nuts...even though I think I was pretty good.

And I hated it when I did not look like a DILF...as planned

Melodie said...

They did ask you questions, right? So, someone must have been paying attention to you.

It'll get easier the more you do it.

LceeL said...

Hah! You should take him. Maybe they'll appreciate you more and pay more attention when you speak. Because if they don't, you could threaten to bring him back!

Solei said...

Those dummies in there probably hadn't had their full dose of caffeine yet! Because as you said, 8:30 am for a meeting??? CRAZY!

Now if you were speaking in front of all of us here in the closet, what a rowdy room that would be! I promise to make eye contact with you and laugh at all your funnies. So when you arrabge that, please don't make it too early. After lunch meetings are best. Or better yet, a meeting DURING happy hour!
Can't wait!

Val said...

Glad it went well, considering.

And do any of those people ACTUALLY have a 2 year old? Bring him to work! omg....crazy....absolutely insane!

Love the "crisis" bit....will have to use that in the future.

Joy said...

Don't worry you have our full attention.

And BTW way to go at Public speaking at 8:30am

Ashley J said...

I know exactly what you mean about the eye contact thing. I had to present at work this afternoon... at 4:00. These people had been in training all day.

I'm by no means a nervous public speaker, but they had NO interaction. Then, two of them started whispering and laughing. Surely it wasn't about me (I told myself), but it still was horrible.

Anyway, at least our speeches are over, right! :)

www.thepurplemango.com

Lilly said...

Congrats on getting through your speech. To answer your rhetorical question, I'm taking a speech class, and my first speech is on Saturday. 3-4 minutes of speech, 2 weeks of worry.

J.Rube said...

yeah, beginning of the day or end of the day suck. So does right before lunch and right after lunch. Hmmm..... the timing is never really right. But, 8:30 am certainly sucks.
Admittedly, we're rarely out of bed here at that ungodly hour.

What kind of sales people were they? What were you selling to them? How is it that you need them?
Do they need you?

I can TOTALLY relate to worrying for DAYS about something that takes seconds to pass. I think it's a crazy Libran thing - strong need to present PERFECTLY. Strong need to perfect most everything actually. It's all or nothing for us, babe!

I'm sure you were marvelous!

(me - maybe they weren't checking their email at all, but blogging about you! lol)