Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Public Speaking 101

Today at our monthly 4-H meeting, I had to stand up and give a little talk on our community service project next month. Wow, do I suck. I am perfectly chatty and coherent in writing, but put me in front of a group of people - heck, put me one on one with someone - and, well, it's not pretty. It's not particularly ugly, because I don't say much and get out of Dodge as fast as possible, but it is not pretty. I think I only hit about half of the points that I wanted to make and I was blushing and sweating and stammering and saying, "ummmm ummm," and oh, it was just humiliating. It probably wasn't that bad to watch - just really short and spoken too quickly - but it was sheer torture to do. Sheer and complete torture.

For once though, the meeting was nice and short so the members didn't get bored and restless and the little girls, who are technically too young to be in 4-H but participate in everything anyway, happily played Barbies and Doll Houses together in the back of the room. After the business part of the meeting was Presentation Day. Six different members came up and demonstrated different types of presentations: demonstrations, illustrated talks, impromptu speeches, educational displays, etc.

Cameron had volunteered to do an impromptu talk so we had been practicing and prepping him for weeks. The leader and I decided that it would be better to stack the deck, so to speak, in his favor and give him a topic that he actually knew something about... LEGO Star Wars. LOL. We actually gave him the choice between "How to play with a baby" and "LEGOs" and he chose to expand it to LEGO Star Wars. He did so good though!! I could take lessons from him. Hell, I should've had him give my presentation for me. ;) He stayed on topic; he spoke at a good volume (he was actually the best of all of them in that respect); he mostly, sort of, had a clear beginning, middle, and end to his speech; he used hand gestures to demonstrate his points, but wasn't particularly fidgety; he answered questions appropriately; and he kept his audience's attention. He rocked. There is a county presentation day next month. I'm definitely going to ask him if he wants to participate in that because he is a natural at public speaking.

After the presentations were over, the kids each got an Achievement Award. I wasn't expecting that at all and thought it was a really nice gesture. After that, there were free cupcakes for everyone and I really wasn't expecting that! WooHoo for cupcakes! Greyson attacked mine and got a nose full of frosting, lol. Poor neglected third child whose mother has no concern for his health and lets him eat chocolate cupcakes at 8 months. *Rolling eyes* at myself.

Anyway, on the way home we decided that that should definitely count as school today, or at least half of it, so when we got home Cameron and I just played a quick game of War with subtraction flash cards (I won, ha ha) and then I let them watch Robin Hood - again. Cracks me up how into stuff they get. I will sign off now and start dinner while Greyson is still sleeping off his sugar high. ;)

EDITED to add pictures!!


G said...

I really didn't think you seemed *that* nervous! I do agree that Cameron did a great job - I was really impressed with how well spoken he was, and he definately was the easiest to hear. I thought Grayson was cute with the cupcake too. He just looked so thrilled - like CJ at her first birthday, when she was given a fat slice of chocolate cake. ;)

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

I take some good natured jabs when Matthew eats frosting too. It's just some people only see us on special occasions when sugar is abundant so they think that's all the poor neglected fourth child eats. ! LOL

Pixilated Mum said...

It sounded like it was a really awkward experience for you, but the way you wrote it made me laugh. It could NOT have been that bad. (pause) Could it?

Way to go, Cameron. He sounds like he did a great job. Hurrah for finding a gift within himself. It's so neat when we discover new talents in our children.

ROFL about the cupcakes. I know. Sebastian gets way more treats than the older two did because I am tired, I really don't think some of it is such a big deal, and, oh, did I mention I was tired? LOL

And it's not like he eats frosting every day, right? LOL

Meesh said...

the things olivia gets apall me. and I'm the one handing them out. I'll go with the tired angle on that one.

I"m sure yourpublic speaking wasn't all that bad, but I agree with Maria, it was a great read!

A bit about Jenn; said...

Ooooh....Star Wars Legos. String is working on his dissertation on the video games. I spent way too much time on ebay and at the local specialty toy dealer this Christmas season tracking down the right Star Wars Lego guys!

It sounds like your little guy did great on his speech!