At This Time Tomorrow I’ll Be Naked in Public

Old SchoolI dread public speaking.

I’m not terrible at it. But I don’t enjoy it. I’m not comfortable being in the spotlight. I get flummoxed and dry-mouthed, and the days and hours leading up to it are absolutely nervewracking.

I particularly don’t like public speaking with a microphone. I can’t gauge what my voice sounds like to everyone else in the room. Am I too close to the microphone? Too far? Should I hold it? One hand or two hands? Should I breathe heavily into it when other people are speaking, not breaking eye contact? Should I drop the microphone on the floor after I’m done speaking? So many uncertainties.

Regardless of my fears and doubts, every now and then I like to stretch myself a little bit. So recently I accepted an invitation to speak on a panel at a Wash U summer series on crowdfunding. I go live at 2:30 tomorrow (Friday).

My hope is that I’ll be able share some insights about Kickstarter with the young minds of the next generation. My hope is also that I won’t get so dry mouthed that I start drinking every glass of water in sight. I imagine this rapidly devolving into a bareknuckle brawl with the other panelists over the last glass of water.

My hope is that I won’t picture everyone in the room without their clothes and start to wonder if I’m the only person in the room who’s not naked, resulting in me stripping and running through the auditorium shouting axioms about Kickstarter.

My hope is that I won’t commandeer the laptop projector and spend the next two hours sharing the thousands of Biddy and Walter photos I keep on my iPhone.

So if  you turn on the nightly news tomorrow and notice a breaking story about an overly hydrated, naked man holding a room full of people hostage until they finish seeing an inhumane number of cat photos, you can tell people you know that guy.