Jennifer laments her lack of speaking skills...
I’ve spent the past week writing and rewriting something I think I want to say at a meeting I’m attending. With the amount of time I’ve taken, you’d think it was some long speech that I have to make, when in truth, it’s maybe four sentences. But I’ve agonized over these four sentences every single day.
One reason is that I am going on record and rebuking someone and I’m trying to balance on the fine line of giving my opinion while still sounding rational and not intentionally hurting anyone.
The biggest reason, however, is that I’m speaking it, not writing it. I hate public speaking. I’m the stereotypical introverted writer. I’d much rather speak to my characters in my head than to a roomful of people.
In my head, everything works out fine and I have the exact words available at the perfect time. My retorts are perfect too. But I know that if I rely on what’s in my head, when the time comes, I’ll forget what I want to say, how I want to say it, and lose my point in the morass.
That’s why writing is so great. I can write and revise to my heart’s content. I can bend and shape the words until I get across the exact point I want to make. I can give my characters the perfect response, when in reality, I wouldn’t think of the perfect response for hours or days after the fact, long after the opportunity had passed.
Public speakers are taught how to speak, to make eye contact and to use gestures to make their point. But I’m weak at public speaking, and my point is too important to get lost. So I’m going to rely on my writing skills—such as they may be—to make my point.
And hope that my words are enough.