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Are You Speaking My Language?

Speaking in front of a group is one of the most dreaded things to force any person to do. Even though I’ve been paid to speak to groups…….even though I’ve done decades of performing……..even though I conduct a professional meeting every single week……..I still don’t much care for speaking in front of groups.

Especially when I do not know what the frack I am talking about.

Carnell got this bright idea that I should pitch a session to BarCampCHS, a community for sharing: “Use Scrivener to Write Your Bestseller.” I pitched it, because, in a sea of computer-literate folks, people who start conversations that I cannot even begin to follow, there was NO STATISTICAL WAY I would get selected.

That I could teach a class on a computer program is, to me, laughable. I’ve never watched a single online tutorial for Scrivener. And the instruction manual……WHAT instruction manual???? Why waste time reading all that stuff when I could just be writing, writing writing, right?

Right???

Somehow (Carnell), I ended up with a prime 3PM slot, teaching a class on a program I barely knew how to use, to a bunch of people who actually use the computer as way more than a typewriter.

Screwed. I was screwed.

I don’t really remember what happened. It’s like I went into a trance and one of my characters took over. But, my friend James came up afterwards and said I was good.

That was the only part of the language I understood. But, it was enough.

Thank you, James.

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. I hate public speaking too. I love talking but hate speaking. I think good speakers just know how to talk to a lot of people at once:)

    November 11, 2012
    • A day late responding to comments because of stupid sickness I probably got from public speaking….. :) I wonder if the best speakers even think about the size of the group. I find it harder to talk to a small group than to a room full of people.

      November 12, 2012
  2. You were excellent! The attendees were really engaged, asked question, and really seemed to get a lot out of it. It was a great success. Give yourself credit where credit is due. Much better than my model railroading session.

    James was right, well done!

    November 11, 2012
  3. Obviously, the vodka worked.

    November 11, 2012
  4. Yes, you did a very good job Andra. It was interesting and informative. I loved how you mentioned the two types of writers. The writer who is very organized and likes to outline , outline and outline some more. Then there is the writer that just writes stuff. We have that in common. I have an idea in my head and I just start writing stuff. Someone told me a long time ago that writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Like most folks I need to learn how to do a better job cleaning up the mess that I create on the screen. LOL

    November 11, 2012
    • I wish I were more organized with writing, James, but I fear it would keep the characters from doing what they want.

      November 12, 2012
  5. James Moffitt #

    Katy and I looked at each other when you said “ok if you are not writing a book, why are you here?” LOL Uhmmmm we were there because our “friend” is doing a Barcamp session AND to make sure Carnell was on his best behavior. LOL

    November 11, 2012
    • I am ALWAYS on my best behavior. (Yes, you woud be very afraid of my bad behavior.)

      November 11, 2012
    • I was grateful to all my friends for coming.

      November 12, 2012
  6. Hey, I thought you did really well. It was a great session, and very “BarCamp” in style! I learned useful stuff.
    (Except the part where you made a public statement about Carnell being right. That was maybe less than wise.)

    November 11, 2012
    • Ha! Now it is in print too! Not only said in public, recorded by the person in the front row, but now repeated in public. I rest my case. :)

      November 11, 2012
    • I really am grateful for his helping me find Scrivener, though.

      November 12, 2012
  7. I’m sure you rocked it. But your title reminded me of something else. My grandfather is notoriously well travelled. (96th birthday? North Pole. No, he didn’t do the dogsleds, but he was up there on a boat!) But he speaks exactly one language. Midwestern American English. He can’t understand any others, including American English with any sort of accent whatsoever. He claims British English is closer to French. Which he also doesn’t understand.

    So he and his travelling companion (she was practically his wife – long story) were in China at the time of the Tiennamen Square riots. They had to get out fast. They were with a tour group, and of course the airports were packed with foreigners needing to change their travel arrangements and get out, so the group was stuck in a Beijing Airport, and their guide, this mousy little woman kept going to talk to various airline officials and coming back and saying “so sorry, so sorry”.

    Grandapa says “Listen sweetie, just take me over there with you the next time you go.”

    So she goes over with Grandapa in tow. And Grandapa stands right behind her, this six foot tall American guy, with his arms crossed. And he doesn’t actually SAY anything. He just stands there glaring at the back of her head while she talks to the ticket agent. Twenty seats miraculously opened up on a flight leaving in three hours.

    Once they were actually on the plane, somebody in the group said, “George, what did you do?”

    And Grandapa deadpanned, “You gotta speaka da language.”

    Which is now our family’s code for “I have no idea how that worked, but it just did.”

    November 11, 2012
    • That is an awesome story, Jessie. I will have to remember that one if we ever get stuck someplace.

      November 12, 2012
  8. Oooh, that’s one of my nightmares, Andra – going onstage without the first idea of what I have to say! Well done, whichever character took over. It sounds like your class was impressed!

    November 11, 2012
  9. Love the rat Andra and I’m sure you knocked them bandy!

    November 11, 2012
    • I need to start doing more of these pictures again. They were always fun.

      November 12, 2012
  10. I wanted to attend your session, but that is when they put my session to replace the one that canceled. It was good to meet Connie, who was my only attendee. I was like James and Katy who were there to support you, but then I embed not being able to attend.

    November 11, 2012
    • I wanted to attend your session, too, Cheryl, and was bummed that it ended up being at the same time as mine.

      November 12, 2012
  11. Years ago, I had to train new recruits into the company I worked for (there was a team of us, I wasn’t the only one!) and every time a new group started my nerves would get the better of me and I would forget everything I had to talk about. I got used to it after a couple of months, but even thinking about it now brings back the feeling of dread I had those first Monday mornings.
    Looking at your comments above, Andra, it looks like you did fine! I don’t think I could do it now…

    November 11, 2012
    • It’s awful how that just happens, isn’t it? Even when I tell myself I’ve done it before, it usually doesn’t help.

      November 12, 2012
  12. Well, you did actually write a book using Scrivener, and you didn’t have to watch the tutorial. You just figured out how to make it do what you needed! Good enough for me! I ran into James and Katy on the sidewalk. I was on my way to the Apple store. I’m thisclose to joining the cult.

    November 11, 2012
    • I saw your MacBook Pro questions. That’s what I have, but when I have to replace it, I’m going to get the Air.

      November 12, 2012
  13. Sounds like everyone feels they got their money’s worth.

    November 11, 2012
  14. Good for you! I loved Lou’s comment about the vodka working! Ha! I also liked hearing that one of your characters may have taken over…that’s possible! Hope you picked wisely among your characters, though! :-)

    November 12, 2012
    • Yes, some of my characters taking over might not be such a good thing for the group……

      November 12, 2012
  15. Great song. ;-)

    November 12, 2012
    • I actually thought of you when I picked it. :)

      November 12, 2012
      • Awww. That’s the kind of music I listened to as a teenager.

        November 12, 2012
  16. Someone seems to be their very worst critic…. I think if you stood up there at smiled that your engaging personality would take over and everyone would be raptured. :) I’m very wise you know. :)

    November 12, 2012
    • Well, I don’t know about raptured, but you are very wise, Lori.

      November 12, 2012
  17. Followed. Liked, and Tweeted. See you in the blogosphere.

    November 14, 2012
  18. It would be hard not to be liked, when everyone in the room loves you.

    November 18, 2012

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