took my Dale Carnegie class seriously at work years back. Every speech I would develop, block out, practice, reblock, practice, index card it, and practice. My two minute speeches were always two minutes. In fact, it frustrated me that other people in the class would just show up and wing it (and drone for five minutes or more). I always felt that the class facilitators should have called them out on it. No, they were trying to sell classes and books. When I finally had enough of random um-fests that droned on without purposes I told the group it was an insult to the audience to come that unprepared, and was voted as Most Likely to be Murdered. Yeah, whatever.
So now I find that the SouthEast Region of the Nation Model Railroad Association is having a convention over towards Tampa and they needed speakers so I volunteered to host a clinic (on MicroOps, which is doing model train operations on a teeny-tiny layout (in this case, two foot by four)). I’ve got an hour and I should pretty much fill at least forty minutes or so.
In that, I began working on it two weeks ago. Once I had the rough idea (on paper generated in a Word doc) I went out in the car port and stumbled through it a couple of times (forty-five minutes, so that’s good). I think my car has listened to my speech over a dozen times now. I’ve changed it around. I’ve cleaned it up. I’ve made it into a logical and fun delivery.
And now, tonight I’ll be giving it.
Yeah, so I’m a little tense.
I’m ready. I’m good. I’ve got an easel to set the layout on so I can point out features as I talk (and yes, I know not to face it, but maintain my front to the audience). I’ve got my handouts ready. I’ve polished the speech until it shone. We’re ready to go.
And I’m still a little stressed. The only thing I haven’t done is to practice it in front of anyone. But I’m fine with that. Maybe I’ll do it for my wife tonight (stop smirking. I can see you smirking). I’ll try it with her and become comfortable with a watcher.
Because tonight I’m pitching what is a relatively unethical set of ideas to crusty model railroaders (most of them in their golden years). Tough crowd. So we’ll see.
It’s going to be an interesting night.