Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Public Speaking

The idea of speaking in public makes me so nervous. During school, I talk all the time to groups--but the suggestion of speaking in front of my peers turns me into a bundle of nerves.

I've told you about my extreme shyness before. If you've forgotten, read this post!

It was in 4-H that I had to get up in front of a large group for the first time. I remember when I began 4-H in 4th grade, all those older kids (through High school, you know) seemed so sophisticated and poised and smart. Watching them do their speeches and demonstrations filled me with awe, and fear. I probably dealt with it the way I deal with unpleasantness now--avoid the thought that eventually I would have to do one of those dreadful things--speak in public.


I don't recall my first demonstration but I found pictures of these examples of demonstrations from the county contest and I didn't die from doing them!

This first pictures isn't very good but please notice the apron--printed with 4-H cloverleafs! And also notice the vintage tupperware--which my mom might still have! And the Bicentenniel tablecloth--surely this was 1976! Too bad Tupperware didn't ditch the earth colors for red, white and blue.

Jana and I (on the right) are demonstrating how to make sopapillas.

I was really glad to have Jana for a partner. She seemed to have bravery in abundance in social situations. She was the youngest of 5 girls and her mom was a 4-H veteran and expert at all things to do with demonstrations, dress review and any other competition in 4-H.

I remember that one of the great debates was whether or not to pre-measure the ingredients. You couldn't just dump milk in the bowl from a container ("Now add the milk"). The judge might not realize that we knew how to use a measuring cup--perhaps our moms had done it all for us before we set up! So we would compromise and measure some things like the flour for the benefit of the audience, and when we would add the milk we'd say, "Now add the milk. We have pre-measured this ingredient to save time."

You might notice that we are laughing about something--imagine that!

This is my friend Debbie and I. We were both kind of shy so I'm not sure how we ended up as partners. I don't remember what we were demonstrating but I do remember those saddle shoes I was wearing. And I vividly remember that 'amazing' table cloth and those white eyelet aprons. Debbie and I often joked about the unused appliances we dragged from the back of the cupboard to use in our demonstrations.

"Dig the electric skillet out of the very back of the very bottom cabinet. Empty the mouse poop into the trash before using."

Somehow, our moms didn't think that was very humorous, even in practice! Of course, we premeasured some ingredients and when we made Mexican Casserole, we precooked our hamburger 'to save time!'

Demonstrations were kind of fun with a partner. I'm sure it helped my public speaking ability.

Or my terrible sense of humor. I'm not sure which.

P. S. I just noticed that my hair is the same style now as it was back then........double eek. If only it were the same color.......


Andi said...


And, my hair is now the same as when I got married, only I think I learned to control the frizz better. Still, it's disturbing to notice that...

Keetha Broyles said...

I tried my hand at 4H for a couple of years - - - I remember baking sugar jumbles and making a very simple flower centerpiece.

Public speaking is another story altogether - - - it is something I truly enjoy.

Go figure - - - a talker like me liking to talk.

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16: