STU SAYS

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

This week I learned from a col­league that he’s been learn­ing how to im­prove on his pub­lic speak­ing.

This got me think­ing.

I hate im­promptu speak­ing. I have this fear that Im go­ing to say some­thing that jars. Some­thing that swims up­stream in the con­ver­sa­tion and cre­ates that awk­ward vac­uum then I’m left scram­bling to fill it.

And be­cause it jarred it lodges it­self in my mem­ory like some­thing firmly wedged in my teeth and it keeps mak­ing cameo ap­pear­ances in my head at the queer­est times.

Of course you can’t re­hearse ev­ery­thing you say out loud, and there’s al­ways the chance that wing­ing it will work out OK.

I find there’s two rules of thumb, don’t drink heav­ily be­fore­hand and don’t try to be funny.

Of course the cruel irony is if I drink heav­ily I think I’m hi­lar­i­ous. I’m as­sured this isn’t the case.

So aside from rul­ing out a ca­reer in stand-up com­edy, I don’t think this has held me back.

I can al­ways prac­tice on my chil­dren but I’m not sure there’s re­ally much of a call for pub­lic shout­ing.

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