Non-fatal Public Speaking

Last night I read my piece, “Adventures in Jet Skiing” to a small, yet dare I say, appreciative group, at 621 Gallery in Tallahassee. Oddly enough, I wasn’t terribly nervous. I’d had to edit my original piece to better suit a live reading, and I believe it worked well.

The most difficult part of the evening was waiting my turn while several gifted, published poets read their own pieces. I was entertained and enthralled and ultimately concerned that my piece would be out of place in the setting. Still, when my name was called I rose to the occasion and gamely delivered my tale of surviving my first, and hopefully last, jet ski ride.

Thankfully those in attendance laughed in most of the right places. It helped that I had three lovely friends show up to support me. Julie, Denise, and Lisa, you ladies rock.

If you’ve got a few minutes to waste, Julie filmed most of my reading. I definitely need to slow down my delivery and enunciate more precisely. I chose not to use the microphone because the speaker had an odd and distracting thrum going on, so my recorded voice is a bit too quiet. Thanks to Julie I now have a checklist of things to work on for the next time I am brave enough to step in front of an audience.

Peace, people!

Idiocy, Bravery, or Neither

I’m suffering from a case of performance anxiety. A few days ago I did something that was either extremely stupid or rather courageous. There’s a fine line between the two extremes where I’m concerned, and I’m sure I won’t know which end of the spectrum my action was on until I can gauge the outcome. Let’s see what precipitated my angst, shall we?

There was this notice on Facebook:

I read it once. Then a second time. “Huh!” I thought cavalierly. “I can do this.”

So without even an ounce of hesitation I sent an email with a link to one of my blog posts. Then I promptly forgot all about it. Until today when I got this email:

Hi Leslie!

Thank you for your interest in reading at our January Literary Salon! We are happy to host an inclusive and open space for writers and artists at all levels of engagement and topic. I would be happy to add you to our reading list for the 17th. It’s encouraged to read for around ten to fifteen minutes, but you’re welcome to adjust that time to better suit your style, content, or comfort.

There was more to the email, but you get the drift. I’ve gotten the okay to share something I’ve written with a group of strangers. Kind of like I do here every day, except they’re going to expect me to read it aloud. Holy cow. Let the performance anxiety kick in.

I know what I’ll read. It’s one of my favorite pieces, but it’ll need to be reworked for a live audience. I’d welcome editing suggestions. Please read the link and then give this girl some ideas!