Following on my story of fear of flying, how about doing the main speech and saying Grace “the blessing of the meal” at a function?
I love cricket and have been involved as a scorer and umpire for many, many years. Also, I’m chairman of my local umpires society, so this is the position I found myself in as we were ready to tuck in to some delicious food.
“Now over to Allen to say Grace” said one of my colleagues. Brain freeze. What do I say? Help!! I typed the words to Grace on my phone and I could hear the muffled laughter as I got my phone out and stumbled my way through what should have been a very simple beginning. “Amateur” was very probably the words going round in people’s heads and very definitely in mine. What a beginning. Dreadful.
The meal was excellent, the company likewise. Then I was on again, this time with a bit more preparedness than before. I tried a few jokes, I tried a few ad libs, wishing that my time was up and I could sit down. I retreated into my shell for the rest of the evening, trying not to make eye contact with people who I’ve known for many years.
So, we can add public speaking to travelling on airplanes to my list of anxieties. As long as I don’t get a job as a member of cabin crew, having to do the safety demonstration! Imagine the laughs of the passengers as yours truly forgets his lines.
If only I could play to my strengths…such as they are….