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I survived public speaking!

I survived my Noble County Historical Society presentation, and managed to get it out in only an hour and a half or so. The crowd turned out to be much smaller than was expected -- which may have disappointed some, but allowed me to be more relaxed,

As I was setting up for it at the fire station, our fire department got called out to a "small" grass fire that moved into a swamp and woods and endangered several homes, growing so large that 7 fire stations were dumped out to control it. I was very disappointed to be stuck at the station, because I love fighting brush fires ... but also relieved, because it means there were no firefighters in the audience as I gave my talk. Heck, I expected we'd get a call during the presentation! Murphy's Law of firefighting.

Also, it was my first chance to wear my Class B uniform. :-)


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
Whew! I'm glad to hear you escaped unscathed. I'll admit I was worried there for awhile. 8D

Public speaking is way up there on the fear'o'meter for most people, and I didn't envy you in the least. I was a member of Toastmasters for a few years, and have done some business presentations before a small crowd. There has to be a truly compelling reason for me to do, though. I never got a feeling of satisfaction from it, merely rabid relief that it was over.

I'm sure with summer coming on, you'll get plenty of brush fires!
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
I've been a fire instructor for many years now, so I'm used to being in front of people to an extent -- although I've never really liked it. But the firefighters are people I'm familiar with, and my biggest class of new rookies I've ever had was 7 -- the fellow from the Historical Society who set this up predicted about 50 people, not including whatever firefighters came. Luckily for me it was a rather cool days, which tends to keep the old people down, and of course all the firefighters except me were out fighting a brush fire. There only ended up being about two dozen in the audience, including my daughters.
But yeah, rabid relief. We cleaned up, bought a pizza, and vegged out the rest of the evening.

Our brush fire season is usually over by the end of April. Around here what burns the worst is the dead stuff, and once it warms up enough for everything to green up the fires don't usually get out of control. All of that, of course, is completely dependent on the weather. We have wet springs where there's no grass fire season to speak of, and we've had weekends where we're getting toned out to a dozen or more every day. Yesterday, except for the one fire being unusually large, was par for the course.
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
Whoa. I didn't get the picture the first time I passed through this thread! (I think I was getting updates, and I might as well be on dial-up during those).

It's nice to see you without a helmet--although those do lend a devilishly, dashing air.

I'm with you though. Having my picture taken is just below public speaking when it comes to things I hate!
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
Funny thing is, I've always wanted to be an actor -- which generally involves being in front of either a crowd or a camera. Go figure. Mostly the problem isn't that I fear cameras, it's that I don't think I'm good looking and I hate looking at myself. It's the same with my voice -- I talk on the radio for a living, but I can't stand listening to recordings of me. Other people say my voice sounds good, but me -- forget it. Guess it's just a self-esteem thing.

As for the helmet -- well, there's that hair afterward, that's a problem. :-)
Mar. 21st, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
Acting isn't so different from writing. We can really screw ourselves up with our self-image. I'm not sure which would be more depressing--the way I see myself, or actually finding out how others see me.

As for the helmet -- well, there's that hair afterward, that's a problem. :-)

Hmmm. Sounds like one profession where being bald might be a definite asset. And everyone knows bald men are sexy.
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
certain starship captains
*Some* bald men are sexy. But I guess bald would have to be better than how I look after climbing out of bed, spending two hours at a fire, then taking that helmet and Nomex hood off!

And yes, actors and writers are probably more alike than they'd ever admit. Artists can be so high strung, emotional, thin-skinned -- all the stuff we complain about in other people, but don't see in ourselves. :-)
Mar. 20th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
looking good! heh
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC)
I clean up pretty good, don't I? Still need to get out of my winter funk and exercise, though. Or just go outside. :-)
Mar. 20th, 2006 05:25 am (UTC)
I'm glad it went well!! Yay for surviving public speaking!

Nice picture of you!
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I call it "Picture of relief 'cause it's over". Generally I really, really hate my pictures, but I thought that one came out all right.
Mar. 20th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Yay you on the public speaking
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
Possibly the bravest thing I ever did. Well, I got married once, but other than that ...
Mar. 20th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)
Yay! Well done. You'll be volunteering to do it again soon *g*.
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
volunteering again soon

Mar. 20th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
I was having empathetic dread for you, re: your public speaking gig. Glad it's over, and you lived to tell the tale.

BTW, nice pic! You do look a bit like Clark Gable.
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
Clark Gable
I've been told I have a slight resemblance, which is one reason why I've kept the moustache. On a good day, I also do a passable Groucho Marx.

I'm still a little upset about missing the brush fire, but also greatly relieved that I didn't spontaneously combust in front of the crowd.
Mar. 20th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Well done that man - and how impressive for the audience that even as you spoke there was a major fire being fought by the guys from that very station - makes the history all seem so close to home.
Mar. 20th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
you're right, it made a big impression on them that we were out on a fire, and a bigger one that the guys were just coming back when we got called out to another one. I couldn't have planned it better, and by the way -- just for the record -- I didn't plan it. :-)
Mar. 20th, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)
You look pretty badass. :)
Mar. 20th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I practice that look in the mirror every morning. :->
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 20th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
I'm with you! One of the reasons I took up writing is because I don't like to speak, and one of the reasons I took up photography is because I don't like to have my picture taken. But then, it seems I keep getting involved in doing things I don't want to do ...
Mar. 24th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
Congratulations on getting through your speech. I'm sure it was fine.

Nice picture, too.
Mar. 24th, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)
say cheese
My daughter took it, at the door to my kitchen. I don't much like any of my pictures, but I thought that was one of the better ones.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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