October 22, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
I have a little problem speaking in front of groups. The problem is I HATE IT. Now, those
of you that know me in real life are all, “NUH UH!” because you probably think I never shut up. And that’s mostly true. OK, it’s totally true. The shutting up? I don’t do that. Let’s just say that reticent and DG have never been used in the same sentence, mmkay? But I’m here to tell you why.
I have major social anxiety. MAY JAH. As in, I get so freaking nervous I just blurt out whatever comes to mind, become very impulsive and my filter is gone (yes, I have a filter. Shaddup). If I have to speak in front of a large group I MUST have a script or piece of paper with notes on it to keep me grounded. It’s torture. I’m sooooooo uncomfortable. And wanna know what’s funny? When people find that out about me, they all say one thing: that they would never guess because I seem very relaxed and calm and professional. Apparently, I’m also a great actress.
I’ve always been more of a behind the scenes person. In high school, I was in stage crew and orchestra so that I could hide and wear all black clothes and not actually have to be ON STAGE. And for some reason, I chose to become a teacher. FUNNY! Except it’s not, because oddly enough I’m fine in front of a group of kids. Weird, huh?
Weirder still? I have to rehearse before I get on the phone and talk to folks. Like, if I have to make an appointment or call someone for any reason, I practice ahead of time and write down what I need to say so that I say it and don’t get all skeered like and forget the important stuff. Ordering Takeout or Pizza? OMGOMGOMG. It’s dreadful. Haaaaate it.
So now you’re all thinking, Um, DEEG? You are president of Home and School! How are you running meetings and such? And the answer is I HAVE A CO-PRESIDENT. And that’s awesome, because I do most of the behind the scenes, technical kind of stuff and she does the calling people and letters and stuff and it’s an awesome partnership. Until last night, when she had a family matter to attend to and I had to run the last half hour by myself. Gulp. And I had to speak out loud. GULP. So mostly it’s good except for that whole thirty minutes and stuff.
And perhaps that’s why I’m fine with being on the Internets. I mean, let’s face it, I have like ten whole followers and stuff. That makes me wildly unsuccessful, wouldn’t you say? And Twitter? One hundred followers! WOOOO!!!! DH IN THE HOOOOOUSE! I’m famous. Infamous. But truthfully, that’s fine. Because I don’t know if I’d make it on a book tour, having to talk to people and stuff, you know? Because they might want me to, you know, speak and stuff? Like, answer questions or sign my name or something? Yeah, no one wants to see a thirty-something redheaded chick crying and rocking to herself in the corner. Or maybe they do, it’s part of my charm.
In all seriousness(MOI? Serious? UNPOSSIBLE!), though, doing this home and school gig has taught me quite a bit about all of this speaking in front of groups stuff and has also taught me to be as fair and unbiased as possible when it comes to dealing with people’s agendas and committees and stuff. Which will help me in the future if I ever become president of the country. Or town mayor. Mayor! I’m gonna run for maaaayor! (Name that flick)