A week from today will be my last lecture for 2009. I am doing a trunk show for the American Sewing Guild in Pittsburgh. I have a special way I like to prepare for public speaking--I try not to think about it until I am standing in front of my audience!
I have no problem teaching a large group because of all the "give and take", but being the center of attention can be a little nerve wracking. Once I get going, I really enjoy showing my quilts, but that first 2 minutes can be torture.
I did a trunk show for a store a few years back, that was scheduled for 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but as I was arriving in town around 1 o'clock, my cell phone rang. It was the owner of the store asking if I was close. I told her I was about 10 minutes away and would be there shortly, not realizing that, according to her schedule, I was late. I walked into the store still expecting to be able to take my time and set up, when I turned the corner and saw what looked to be about 100 people (but in actuality was probably less than 50) waiting for me to arrive.
I just had to jump right in and it was probably my best and most candid lecture so far. Fortunately for me, several more ladies came in closer to 2 o'clock and were shocked to see that they had missed my trunk show (I did a private showing for them). It turned out that the original notice that had been sent out had the 2 o'clock start time, but in the reminder notice, the time had been accidentally changed to 1.
I am looking forward to the day when standing in front of an audience is "no big deal", but I don't want to lose the excitement that comes with being a little nervous.