Yesterday, on September 29, 2021, I was the guest speaker at the breakfast Rotary Club in Fredericksburg, VA. It was the largest audience I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to so far. I was more nervous the Wednesday before a week ago than I was the day of my appearance.
It was most fortuitous that an invitation was extended to me. Years ago, as an employee of a bank, I became a member of a women’s professional organization. Although, I had been laid off for years, I stayed a member and continued to receive invitations through emails. So, a few months ago, I decided to start attending the get togethers. It would be a wonderful way to meet smart women who have enriched the various entities in the city.
Along with the invitation, we were asked to donate a gift for the door prizes which are a staple of these networking events. Well, I certainly could donate my book. So, I bought a festive gift bag, decorated it with pastel tissue paper, and inserted a tasseled bookmark and my business card inside On the Wings to Freedom.
When it was my turn to present my door prize, I was unprepared to talk about the book. Had I known, I would have read my latest synopsis. Anyway, I quickly described the plot in a few sentences and drew a name out of the box.
Afterwards, a woman approached me and inquired if I would like to be a guest speaker at the Rotary Club’s breakfast meeting. Well, yes, of course! What a wonderful opportunity! As it turned out, Beth was a member of the same church as I. We got together about a week or so afterwards so she could find out what kind of book I wrote and give me the scoop on what to expect as a speaker at the Rotary Club. She hadn’t read the book but had intended to do so.
As it turned out, I was worried for nothing. My presentation went well. I talked of plot, characters and of course the history in which my characters lived. There were about 40 guests, besides those on Zoom. At the end of my lecture, I sang my original song Steal Away Home (to Jesus). It was unexpected which made it a bonus to my listeners.
Needless to say, I was so proud of myself. I feel I’ve reached a milestone. From now on, I don’t think I will feel as nervous as I did this time when I next have a speaking engagement. I’ll simply enjoy myself.