I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brevity, the Art of Not Boring People To Death


The only thing about the long sermons that stuck with me in church was the uncomfortable stiff wood chairs. I felt sinful when my mind wandered all over creation during the homily unable to focus on the monotonous voice of the priest. I was grateful when we stood up to recite the Apostle’s Creed because it meant he was done. As I got older I fantasized about walking out of church in the middle of their sermon in a sign of protest, but I never grew the balls to do it. I did grow a dislike for long windy speeches or windy anything.  

I blame on those homilies my lack of concentration on lectures that are too windy and that I check the length of an article before I read it. I have yet to read Crime and Punishment 656 pages not because there are so many pages, but because the paragraphs are so intimidatingly long, I must save a good chunk of my life to get into it and no book really deserves that much work. Not even mine.  

Over the past several years I have had to speak in public. It was never the choice of the shy girl I still am behind the fa├žade of self-confidence I have achieved, it is more something that I was pushed into or that by default fell on my lap. Two things I keep in mind when I speak, #1 I don’t memorize my speech rather talk as if I was having a conversation and #2 I keep it brief.  I realize that I keep it brief because my insecurities make me think no one wants to listen to me to begin with, and by default also I have found that my message is much more effective when I don’t bore the audience to death. 

A few weeks ago, I was called to the microphone as I was walking by in a room full of people. I had not rehearsed anything. I had nothing in mind to say. I was not aware I was speaking. Nevertheless, I positioned myself behind the mic and told the audience a story, a short story. The response was overwhelming.  

I remain in awe when someone comes to me after I sit down to talk about my delivery. I am surprised they want to talk to me at all and more so that they remember my message.  I know I didn’t remember the church messages. It must be they are not sitting in those uncomfortable wood chairs.