13 Jun Horrors of Public Speaking/Sleeping
My schedule in the past few days has been even more insane than earlier.
I’ve been working days and nights, and that included a straight 36-hour stretch on Friday/Saturday.
But now life is back to being a teeny weeny bit more comfortable, and that’s when I decided to take a break from what keeps me awake at night, causing me to sleep during meetings in the day.
Want proof? Here it is.
There, that’s me in the blue tee-shirt, sleeping blissfully!
This was at a networking event for ‘work-from-home’ women, organised by the very dynamic team of Sheroes India – a career portal for women who either want to get back into the workforce after a break or prefer working from home because of family responsibilities. (Do check it out if you are based in India and looking for a work-from-home job or are considering getting back to a full-time job after a long break.)
I had attended this event on Saturday, after staying awake all of Friday (day and night) and Saturday morning. That’s an almost 32-hour day, mind you! (Not proud of it. Don’t do it.)
Of course, the organisers wouldn’t have any of it. After all, how could they let me sleep in peace! Sure enough, I was invited to the ‘stage’ to speak. It felt like I was back in school when the teacher punishes you for talking/sleeping in class by asking you to solve that all too tough numerical problem on the black-board. A murmur of pitiable sighs resonate around you as you approach the blackboard with heavy feet. But just before you get up, there’s this feeling of dread, wishing the earth would swallow you to save you from the embarrassment of not solving the one problem everyone’s attempted but no one’s solved.
I felt exactly like that. I wanted to hide under the chair, run away or just go back to sleep and pretend nothing happened. With my fear of public speaking, I should have politely turned down the invitation. But me being me (quite a contradiction there, to be a narcisstic attention seeker and also be suffering from stage fright), and having recently resolved to refrain from saying ‘No’, there was no way I was backing out or turning it down. I also remembered my resolution (not the New Year Resolutions, don’t even remind me of those) of putting myself out of my comfort zone and do things that otherwise I would shy away from. So, that meant I had to address the audience despite how much I hated it. I found myself nodding and my feet stepped forward of their own accord. When I took the mike, I felt my mind go blank and all sense of existence evaporated. Words failed my and my mouth went dry. But I held on, gripped the mike tighter, sang La Dee Daa Dum, took in a long breath and thought to myself, ‘What the heck, let’s give this a shot too.’
I must have been in a trance, for I have no idea what happened next. I came to my senses only when I heard applause resonate in the hall. I think I may have already ended my speech ‘coz I was handing the mike back. (Don’t know whether they were clapping because of the speech or because it was over!)
I partly suspect the spaceship must have also flown overhead for I have no recollection of what I said either.
Sunday was spent working on the ‘big news‘ I’ve mentioned earlier. It looks like that the wait may be a little longer than expected. But do bear with me.
Meanwhile, tell me what was your weekend like? Did you have fun? Was it dedicated to catching up with friends and family? Or did you spend it indulging in some much needed me-time? Do share your stories via the comment box below.