My face. My name.
I’m a speaker at Husker Harvest Days.
Uh…what is (are?) Husker Harvest Days?
Well, there’s actual corn. They actually harvest it. With combines and tractors and there’s irrigation equipment and ATVs. It’s a demonstration of what’s coolest and newest and best in farm equipment.
A trade show. For farmers and ranchers.
Estimated attendance? Oh……..
I love writing. Duh, I’m a writer. I have been told that, in writing, I appear to be quite amusing and confident and even (on a good and lucky day) skilled at expressing myself with the written work.
But ummmmmmmmmm Public speaking?
Not so much.
My daughter was on the Speech Team in High School. She had a T-shirt that said:
We do for fun……….
What most people fear more than death.
This comes from a survey done listing people’s top ten fears.
1. Public Speaking
I completely get this. I HATE public speaking. I am no good at it. And here’s the real reason I hate public speaking…because it drives me crazy before and after I speak…for YEARS.
Not DURING so much…or at least the DURING is over quickly. Before and after I am HAUNTED.
Twenty-seven years from now…sitting in a nursing home…I’ll have a sleepless night…and I’ll lay there and think, “Why did I make that stupid lame joke at Husker Harvest Days in 2008? Why? Why? Why?
So anyway, I’m speaking at Husker Harvest Days next week. I know this because it appeared in Nebraska Farmer Magazine.
(If you go to this link, you’ll see that YEP, there I am. There’s my book cover. YIKES) It also says what I’m gonna talk about. That’s good because I had no idea. I looked at what I’m supposed to talk about. Okay, I can talk about that stuff. I made notes.
I knew I was invited to go. I knew I had a booth. I even knew I’d have a turn ‘presenting’ something. I visualized about one hundred people all doing this ‘presenting’ at the same time…kinda Home Shopping Network Rural Nebraska style. Honestly I didn’t visualize it at all because if I start visualizing I kick off the pre-public speaking instant replay-worst case scenario-obsessive compulsive-insomnia-madness. So, because I have raised denial to an artform, I hadn’t given it much thought and had no idea what to expect, I’ve never been to Husker Harvest Days before.
Then The Nebraska Farmer Magazine comes out with my book cover and me…along with FIVE OTHERS…only five. What about one hundred? Where’d they all go? I mean sure, I only made that number up in my head, but still………..
An HOUR? I can’t talk for an hour?
I am so DOOMED.
I believe it is fair to say I have a God given gift for the written word.
Getting up in front of a crowd to speak.
So, anybody here like to give speeches?
Anybody ever embarrass themselves in front of a crowd?
I’m trying to be light-hearted about this, but honestly I’m just sick to my stomach. I am terrified. A little weepy. I may possibly be having a heart attack. But probably not. I’ve lived quite a while and I’m not all that lucky. So no reason to hope I’ll get lucky now and end up in an ICU until Husker Harvest Days are over
Consider for a moment your average sit-com.
About ten times a season they run a script of the main character being humiliated in front of a room full of people. There’s a reason for this.
EVERYBODY RELATES. EVERYBODY FEELS THE PAIN.
It’s my turn. Next week. At Husker Harvest Days.
Or not, I’m working on the other end of denial, forgetting it after it happens.
FYI, that picture right there on the left? A Corn Husker. A weird leather and metal device strapped on the hand of a person who is husking corn. There’s a contest, fastest corn husker. There is also a display of combines. Prices run around $200,000. The newer, flashier Corn Husker.
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