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Public Speaking

Posted by margaretpeterson - June 29th, 2012



As our family continues the adventure of sharing our mother’s book, it became obvious that the next step should be public speaking.   There are so many stories to share, and I thought if I could talk my sister, Kathy, into it everything would be fine.  I instinctively knew my mother would be up for it.   Kathy, on the other hand, was going to take a little convincing.     After a few talks, I finally told her I could not do this without her help.  At last, she agreed!


I approached the League of Catholic Women and we had our first presentation in January 2009.  We really wanted to go there, although I have to admit about two weeks before the event I started to feel a little apprehension. My biggest fear was that we would run out things to say, or worse, that they would want us to stop talking!  I shouldn’t have worried.  The women at the League are a wonderful and giving group of women with amazing personalities.  They made all of us feel like we were in our living room having a nice visit.   We left there feeling like we had made many new friends.  With our confidence in place we were ready for the next engagement.  Why is it, just when a person is feeling confident, the roof caves in?  I had carefully typed up my mother’s speech.  It was a really nice story about how she started writing spiritual poetry after she turned her life over to God.  The only thing was, was I typed this late one Sunday evening and did not proof-read it carefully enough.  So, there the three of us are, in front of a podium with microphone in hand, and I am calmly, confidently listening to my mother speak.  I absolutely wanted to crawl under a rock when she announced, “Jeanne, you forgot to type a sentence right here!  Now I don’t know where I am at!”   I remember saying, “Yikes!” near the microphone and trying to talk my mom into repeating the story from her memory instead of reading it from the paper in front of her.  I died a thousand deaths in those few seconds, however, Mother easily started telling the story as she remembered it and it all ended on a good note.


I have learned, people don’t expect us to be perfect and it is unrealistic of me to think we are going to be anyway.   I have my battle plan all ready for the next event.  It is to say a prayer first, do my best, never type on Sunday night, and let the chips fall where they may.



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