I am prepping for my June talk…

Did I mention no slides?  You heard me right: No Slides!  I had to start prepping last month…and I have another 3 months to get it down!

You would think preparing for my speech is simple, but this 15 minute talk has a little bit of my speech and a little bit of Jill’s speech…and did I mention there aren’t any slides!

I know you can relate. What do I do with my left hand?  I have been working on my speech for about a month.  In that time, I am adding, subtracting and having my wife clarify some situations. Now, I am ready to make my PDF file, and continue reading.

You know what? I haven’t started recording myself yet; I just cringe thinking about how I will sound.  But, I have to do it, if I want to sound natural to the crowd.  If you remember, I practiced this speech for 8 months before delivering it for the first time!

Time Will Tell

OK, I just recorded a few segments…and I was …terrible!  I glad I have another 3 months to perfect my talk…and to position my hands better!  Imagine if the audiences loved what I had to say and wanted more of my time?  And imagine what it would be like to change my speech each time?  I could only do 2-4 speeches per year!  The audience would show up and be happy to hear me speak, but they wouldn’t know of the troubles I had preparing for my talk.

I won’t tell them!


I Thought I was Horrible!

I hate to say it, but I really thought that I didn’t do very well.  It started out with the slides.  I fumbled through this:

 Can you guess how old I was?   (PAUSE ….Wait for someone to say 51) I was 51 years old.  That is amazing; I thought it and you said it. (PAUSE)  We are in synch…


But I figured I would amaze them with this:

I was a young, healthy, active, non-smoking, non-drinking- mostly non- drinking – normal cholesterol man, just like this guy! (point, Laugh)

The laughs were minimal.  I didn’t know what to do!

I made a few other mistakes along the way, but they weren’t intentional. I just couldn’t remember where I was in the talk.   You would think that after 500 + times, I would know where I was .  Nope.

Maybe that is what they expect?  I don’t know. The laughs were minimal, but I did get a standing ovation.  I couldn’t believe it!  Do people know what to do when they see me fumbling??  Do they think they shouldn’t laugh?

Then Jill delivered a flawless presentation …and she got only a few laughs.

But crowd that gathered around us was filled with people thanking us for sharing our faith.   The talk was extremely humbling.

I will find out if I was really HORRIBLE when I speak to my contacts this week.  I will let you know.

Is there anything else you need???

In preparing for my speech next week, the person asked how I would like the stage to be set up.   This should straight forward, right?  So I wrote the following:

I would like a laptop on the table with plugs for the sound system.

What am I talking about? 10 years after my stroke, I STILL have trouble with this.  So I asked Jill to help me.  Effortlessly, she said:

I need a podium to stand at so I can read my speech from my iPad.  A lapel microphone is important so I can move around a little.  Nearby, I will need a table that can hold my laptop. With that, I can see what is on the screen behind me and advance the slides.  Also, my laptop needs to plug into the projector and the sound system.

Holy cow…my sentence did NOT give what I needed…even though I have given this speech over 500 times!   You would think I would know that and have a work around?

When I go over my set up with the client, I have a checklist of what I need.  But this time someone different ASKING me what I need again…. it is very tough to say without going through my checklist.  So, I tried to say it…with funny results.   Now, I have it ….just in case anyone asks!