Friday, April 27, 2007

Louder Than Words

We had a great time this week speaking to Dr. Dennis Hensley’s class at Taylor U. and then meeting with several authors over lunch the next day. As a newbie fiction editor, I’m still in awe at the place God has put me in my career and the opportunities He is giving me. But, I wouldn’t say I enjoy the opportunities for public speaking. In fact, they terrify me! I hate to hear my quivering voice as the only sound in the room, while the thoughts in my mind run ahead much faster than the words from my mouth. I’m not an introvert, but I don’t want to be the center of attention. I love meeting and talking with new people, but I’d much rather have conversation than give a presentation. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, though, and it helped at this class that my fellow, more experienced editors, Becky and Susan, were up there with me, sharing in the limelight. It also didn’t hurt that the limelight shone on us sitting safely behind a table, rather than standing alone at an evil podium. :)

When I do have to speak to a crowd, I remind myself of a quote I came across once (that seems to be attributed to both Carl W. Buechner and Maya Angelou online) that says something to the effect of, “People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” What a great reminder that no matter what words I flub or thoughts I jumble, my actions, attitude, and approachability speak much, much louder.


Rachel O said...

Ooooh! And you do that well, JoAnne. Even when you suggest a change from me, you do it with a tact that leaves me feeling like what I do really has value, even if it wasn't done as well as it could have been. (Tact is not one of my strong points!) I really appreciate your encouraging spirit, JoAnne.

JoAnne said...

Aw, thanks, Rachel. I really appreciate you, too!

Mary Connealy said...

I hate public speaking too, Joanne. I've been doing it but...well a safe comment's WAY out of my comfort zone.
Tomorrow's Lyceum Festival is my most distant book signing/speech so far. There will be no family in the crowd to laugh at the right moments...whether it's funny or NOT. No one who cares one speck if I succeed or fail. I've got no idea if it's big or small. Will I be speaking to ten or 100?
I've got 45 minutes to fill but I've got a speech that...if I read an excerpt AND get a lot of questions, may stretch to 30 minutes. But you know what? it'll be okay. No one ever cares if I get done talking early.
You could pray for me Saturday 1:00 p.m. Central Time if you think of it.