Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stepping Out...

...out of my comfort zone, that is.

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my blogging lately. I am swamped beyond swamped with things to do. We are in the last stages of preparing for this year's NICU fashion show. I am only doing a small fraction of the work, but boy does it feel like a lot. I put together three awesome slide shows for the event, and I am busy writing my speech. I am going to tell our family story this year, in front of a crowd of more than 300. Holey moley. That really is out of my comfort zone.

I am NOT a public speaker. I am actually quite shy in groups until I feel comfortable and get to know the people.

I want to do it though. I am hoping it will be a great experience for me to really break through my fear. I was an absolute wreck in college when I had to do public speaking or presentations to the class. I would get SO nervous I could hardly speak. But this is different. I am going to be talking about my kids, and about our experience. It's the one thing I am an expert in. Obviously I know my subject matter!

I was actually feeling pretty okay about it until this week when I was writing the speech. I had to stop and cry with every paragraph. I wonder if there is any possible way that I will even be able to get through it. I don't mind some tears, or showing emotion. I just don't want to have a complete breakdown and not be able to speak. I hope I can do it. I think if I go through it several times, maybe it will be easier when the actual time comes. Or maybe I need a couple of glasses of wine??? Are there any good pills I could take???

The fashion show is next Thursday at 6 in Ann Arbor. I have tickets available to sell if anyone out there is interested in coming. If you haven't let me know already, just send me an email and I'll give you the details. I took 20 tickets to sell, thinking it would be a piece of cake. I mean, who doesn't want to hear me talk? Or see me in my holiday evening wear? Or watch my two adorable daughters ham it up on the stage? On top of ALL THAT, it's for a good cause. The best cause, actually. The ticket money will be used to support the best NICU in the world...the one that saved my babies' lives!


Stacey said...

Wine, girl. Vino. The fire water. Enough to chill, not enough to slur. Well, slurring's fine. Just don't replace the word "sassy" with "sexy" or something like that.

Godfather of Practical Reasoning said...

You stated "I hope I can do it. I think if I go through it several times, maybe it will be easier when the actual time comes. Or maybe I need a couple of glasses of wine??? Are there any good pills I could take???"

First, don't be concerned about alcohol (even wine) or pills. There are some medicines available (see you doctor first) to minimize the adrenalin that builds up when one is fearful, but I never recommend alcohol or drugs (legal or otherwise).

Please understand that the trembling knees, dry mouth, nausea, quivering lips, etc. are all a natural change in the physiology of your body. Fear is a positive influence which changes our body to fight or flight danger. Without this fear, the human race would be extinct. Thus, be thankful that you have fear.

That being said, understand that the same senses you feel when you are fearful are the same when you are excited, e.g. when your fashion show is a success or your favorite team wins the championship.

You said that you will be speaking at your fashion show. If this is a sit-down dinner type of show, don't eat before you speak. Fear shuts down the digestive system and you may get nauseated.

Fear also causes adrenalin to automatically flow in your body, you breathe in more air so that the body can get oxygen into your muscles to fight or flight.

Thus, before you speak (and not in front of the audience)run in place, shake your legs and arms, or do whatever exercise, to reduce all that built-up energy in your muscles.

Then as you come up to the lectern (or wherever you will be speaking from), think about excitement of how you will feel after your show is a huge success. Run up to your speaking area rather than walking.

Before you speak, take a moment or two to simply pause and wait for the audience to quiet. Make eye contact with the audience. You may feel that will increase your tension, but it actually will calm you and the audience.

Lastly, just realize FEAR stands for False Emotions Appearing Real. No matter how great you do or even if you make a few mistakes, you will survive. And what's wrong with a few mistakes? We're all humans and humans make mistakes.

Finally, JOIN TOASTMASTERS. It can be a life changing experience. Joining won't help you with this event, but if you join and stay with it, you will be prepared for the event. You can go to, click on FIND (left hand side) and then enter your zip code to find clubs in your area. If you would like to contact me, my info is below.



Anonymous said...

I am sure you will do fine hon, as long as it comes from the heart you will do fine!! If I lived closer I could probably go but San Diego is a bit far. I really think your bug out fits for the girls were precious!! Hope you guys have a great week ahead!!

Sarah said...

You will be fine, and I can't wait to see pictures! Love the Halloween ones.

the planet of janet said...

wow, i was gonna say "inderal" ... which is a beta blocker and is used by performers for stage fright (in addition to its uses in cardiac patients) ... but i feel kinda small after frank's treatise on public speaking.

Sarah Furlough said...

You can do this, Billie- I know you can! As you said, you are an expert in this subject. I wouldn't worry about crying. I was sure I would cry when I had to tell our story on t.v., but I surprised myself and got through it.

I will be thinking of you!

Angela said...

I feel for you! I am speaking at a benefit auction this month...I haven't spoken publically in YEARS!! Luckily, like you, I will be speaking about a subject matter near and dear to me...nothing other than my dear Jack Riley!

GOOD LUCK, BREATHE, and have lots of wine afterwards ;)

Amy said...

Girl, I dropped speech 3 times in college prior to giving the first speech. I hate it THAT much, so I know where you're coming from.

My thoughts are with you. I have a feeling you'll do great and be really proud of yourself.

Shannon said...

You are so brave Billie! I know that event the decision to do this was a hard one but you will come through it beautifully. Your girls are your passion and every person in that audience will see that. You have an increadable story to share and not even tears could cloud that! We'll listen all night if that's what it takes! But...if we are there all night, there will be wine. Just at the rehearsal, Frank : )

AZ Chapman said...

I love the pics I hope y come and vistme.

Anonymous said...

I think when you get up there, since it is a subject you feel so passionately about, your words will flow from your heart. You have two beautiful little girls and you have an amazing story to tell. You have guts to overcome your fears of public speaking for your girls.

Jacolyn said...

You'll be great! I wish I could be there. Please have someone video tape it and put it on your blog. Oh, that's not scary...having the whole world see your speech ;)

Anonymous said...

Words spoken from the heart, are always spoken eloquently. You'll be amazing.


p.s. one glass of wine never hurts either;)

Anonymous said...

love yr bundles of joy sooo much....they are so does their parents...My 27 weeker has just turn 1 on the 5nov and we had a big party for him on the 10th nov...your family and yr blog motivated me alot...i will write a blog soon..inspired by Holland and Eden..

KUSYA - Qalif's mommy
from Malaysia

Allison said...

The speech is fantastic! The best ever and I can say that because I have heard it. You are so good. Honestly, it could not be better and I believe you will leave with an invite from March of Dimes to speak somewhere. Just my gut!