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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Battling stage fright

The other week, I went to a book party. You know, like a Tupperware party, but instead selling children’s books. It was really interesting to listen to our host. She’d only been in the business for about two months and was extremely nervous; that having spent most of her recent years at home with her young children had made her nervous speaking out now in front of a group of adults, when she used to do it regularly.

I’ve been used to speaking in front of large groups since I was a child. I used to read at church of a Sunday; getting up in front of the congregation to read passages from the bible wasn’t a big deal. I’ve never understood why public speaking ranks higher than death in polls of people’s biggest fears.

Until now: well, kind of. When I return home next month for a holiday, I’ve volunteered to speak to the final year high school students about such issues as stress management, mental health and just generally trying to keep your head above water (I’ve had a bit of experience). Then my mother (who works at this high school) says I might like to talk to the English students about creative writing as well. Er, ok? I know about English (I have a Masters in Literature. Yes, I’m degree-name-dropping) but I really don’t feel adequately qualified to talk about writing. Essays, yes. Prose, not so much. Don’t get me wrong: I have tonnes of ideas. I just hope they translate properly and I don’t come off looking like a loser.

I just read that last sentence. Classic low self esteem talk there: pure adolescent mentality. I’m sure I’ll be fine. At the very least, I’ll fit in!

No, scrap that. I’m going to be positive and engaging.

What do you do to ward off self-sabotaging thoughts?

Comments on "Battling stage fright"


Anonymous jeanie said ... (12:57 pm) : 

I am not sure how I deal with self-sabotage EFFECTIVELY, but I find that I tend to obsess about minute details and that takes the fear away from the big issue. ie I have a job interview on Friday - so far, I have worked out how many will be interviewed based on flight times for the interviewer (!!) and key obscure bits of information about the organisation...

Good luck on the presentation! (and my sympathy for your and your mates regarding your friend - time does not heal all wounds, especially ones without clear answers)


Blogger shishyboo said ... (4:03 pm) : 

Completely unrelated but read in your "about me" section you wanted an easy recipe for scones.
Got this one from my grandma who was a shortcut / no fuss kind of cook but all her food was fantastic...
Melt 'n' Mix Scones
250g SR Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (leave out for savoury scones)
30g margarine or butter

mix dry ingredients, melt marg and pour into measuring cup, add milk to make liquid up to 1 cup volume. mix liquid into dry ingredients to form dough. roll / press out dough to 1 1/2cm thick and cut into rounds. bake in very hot oven (210 -230 degrees celcius)for 12-15 minutes or until golden on top.
I have tried adding sultanas and spice for something sweet and parmeasan cheese and chives for a savoury alternative. Both work fine
also it's important not to knead the dough very much otherwise its really tough and the scones end up flat (mine do anyway)
Flo Bjelke-Petersen's pumpkin scone recipe is super easy as well and very nice.
Hope this helps :-)


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (6:17 pm) : 

jeanie - we must think alike, because in trying to prepare for this, I might just obsess about what I'm going to WEAR and not what I'm going to say. That might work for a while ;)

shishyboo - thanks for that! Now I can take that off my list and will now try to come up with something equally as important :)


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