Random Thoughts

Thoughts While Shaving

by Jim Tierney

Why is it that most of us get nervous speaking to a group, no matter how big or small, no matter how often we speak. It can be a large group at a business meeting or even a small family group, thanking them for your birthday cake. I remember taking a Harvard Extension public speaking course long ago (I tell people I went to Harvard!!!) that required the class to get up and speak on something we prepared as the passing grade at the end of the course. A Boston Lieutenant firefighter could never do it. Whenever he was called on he just couldn’t get up, even with lots of encouragement from members of the class. He was among people from all walks of life, people he didn’t even know and will probably never see again. So why should he care if he flubbed his talk and flunked the course? Many people are like him, even my wife who used to do most of the work in her organization, letting someone else make the speeches and take all the credit. I remember Helen Hayes, the famous stage actress of old, being asked if she was ever nervous before a performance. She said she never went out on stage WITHOUT being nervous and she’s had hundreds of performances. So the next time you feel nervous getting up on your feet in front of people to make a speech or presentation, remember that your audience feels the same when they have to do it.




January  6, 2017


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