So when I signed up for this month of public speaking, I was figuring on having weeks to prepare for my big speech, lots of prep time practicing and a huge cool down after. Not at all my experience.
I signed up for my dvar torah a few weeks in advance (you do know how hard it is to plan anything with someone in residency), wrote the speech four days before and spent a few days trying to edit, memorize and deliver my talk.
I did have a dry run at the synagogue the day before and some wonderful friends and family who provided feedback and listened as I droned on with my text again and again. By the time came for the big day, I felt ready. Not sure if I was ready to talk or ready to just get it over with. Probably the latter if Im being honest.
Part of my anxiety was not knowing if my husband would be home to help with the kids that Saturday in the morning at home or during the actual talk. Once we got clearance for him to switch shifts, it was then hard to figure out who could watch the kids so he could hear me speak. Next it was waiting to find out when I was going to speak as we used to have talks in the middle of services but have recently pushed them to the end. Once I heard the end was my place, I settled back into my seat and began reviewing my notes.
When the time came, I walked slowly to my place and took a deep breath. I have to say it was somehow easier for me to look out at the faces in the crowd that I did not know then to focus on those I had in my circle of friends. Strange I suppose but I guess I figured that they didnt know me yet or what time and effort I had put in so it was up to me to deliver my words in a way that gave them a sense of myself and to open up their worlds to the green side.
I shook a bit inside and tried to think of all those who came before me to share their thoughts in this holy place. I also tried to think about how proud of myself I would be, here in month 9 of this blog project, putting my money where my mouth is, that is, to finally use my mouth to spread my love of the environment and tell all members of my community about my blog project.
When it was all said and done, I received such wonderful feedback face to face, via email and calls from members of the synagogue who heard me in person or read my speech on the internet. I felt so supported and so proud of all that I had accomplished. I then had to turn around and talk again at our ENERGY STAR plaque ceremony a few days later before a smaller group of environmental organization reps and some congregants. With the main talk behind me, I felt more ready to take that next step.
I am happy to say that I raised my voice and put my thoughts on the table for all to see. Not sure Im going to make this a regular thing, but certainly it will no longer be a barrier to sharing my opinions with others. I am looking forward to savoring the last three months of this project. Some ideas include whitewater rafting, learning to drive a motor boat (overcoming my fear of deep water), and more.
See you all next month under the sea.