Girls Write Out
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I know I'm not alone. Fear of public speaking tops the phobia survey, even above heights, flying, and death. I was forced to face my fear this week.

Okay, so it was a taped interview and not live, but the scary thing is, this interview was being taped for my church--people I care about, people I see every week, people who don't necessarily know I can't string two coherent words together when the pressure's on. To make matters worse, we worship in a movie theater and my interview will play on the big screen. Yeah, I've always wanted to see my face in a 5' by 10' format.

On the other hand, I can't exactly turn down a request from my pastor, now can I? Especially when the options he gives me are "would you like to do a live interview or taped one?" knowing very well I'd rather eat raw snake flesh than speak in front of any group.

Taped it is. I have a full week to dread the event before it takes place and naturally, I wake up with a monumental zit the morning of the interview. They show up at the appointed hour--Allen, our frequent blog friend, is taping and my pastor is asking the questions, which, in all fairness, he did email me beforehand.

I just want to get it over with, the sooner the better, you know? I keep wishing it's twenty minutes later and time to edit the thing down to the two coherent sentences I managed to utter.

But as they set up, they discover someone forgot to bring a tape. I won't say who, but his name starts will Al and ends with len. They have to run to Target to get one. While they're gone, I try to stay busy so I don't get any more nervous.

It doesn't work.

They get back and we finally begin taping. It's going pretty well, I think. My answers might not be revolutionary, but I feel like I might be making sense. Twenty minutes later, it's over, and I'm downright giddy with relief. Woohoo! I survived. Now, if I just come down sick the morning they show it at church, all will be well.

"Uh, Denise . . . " I hear from Allen who's been reviewing the interview with headphones. "Do you have a few minutes more?" he asks.

Come to find out, someone forgot to test the sound before the interview and we need to do the interview over. I am dragged kicking and screaming into another interview.

I can't remember a thing I said the second time, but I'm trying to look at the bright side. If the congregation gets bored, they can always play connect the dots with my pores.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:57 AM  
  Comments (16)
 
 
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16 Comments:
At 10:13 PM, Blogger Ausjenny said...

Denise I feel for you. I hate doing things up front and even a taped interview would scare me to death.
The one time i did a bible reading i had practiced it with our pastors wife which was good as by the time i had to read i had memorized it cos if i hadn't i dont know what would have happened cos i could not see one word on the page when i stood up to read it.
It was there i said never again.

 
At 5:41 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Denise, I have to say I think you took the harder route. I hate listening to myself on tape or watching myself on video. I don't want to have any goof ups preserved forever. Plus, my face gets to stay its own size. LOL I do like your look on the bright side. You have a great sense of humor.

www.jillboydsplace.blogspot.com

 
At 6:30 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I conducted interviews with several of our church's ministry leaders last year. I would have loved to have had them answer the questions a second time. People normally give better answers the second time around. Allen may have done you a big favor by asking you to do it over.

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

Lurker chiming in. Isn't funny how afraid we get about speaking live or taped? Even though we know we will know the answers or should. It's not like it's a quiz show and you have no clue about the questions. If you are like me, your mind goes blank! It just stops functioning!

This was addressed in a different post a few days ago. I didn't chime in on that one. Someone mentioned being a pastor's wife. I have that role as well. I am the pastor's wife who doesn't speak or PRAY (shock of all shocks for a pastor's wife) in public but can talk your ear off one on one! I teach preschool. There isn't much I won't do in front of them. (including dance! :0) I have the best time. They don't scare me. Now when parents arrive, its a whole different story!

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Ausjenny, thanks for feeling my pain. I wish I could say never again, but I got into the wrong business for that. Maybe I'll get used to it after a few (hundred) times.

Jill, I agree NOW that I took the harder route. LOL If only I'd known I'd have to do it twice.

Timothy, Allen said I was more relaxed the second time, but I swear my answers were better the first.

I'm the same way one-on-one Andrea. If I could just talk to the interviewer, and forget about all the people who are going to be watching . . .

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Tina said...

I relate. Why must speaking be part of an author's job? LOL. Don't tell my publicist I asked that. :)

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger allen said...

Well it finally happened. She blogged about it! The sound check was my fault, but not the tape. I had just picked up the equipment that morning and they did not include a tap like I requested. And actually I shot it at a 9x16 ratio, not 5 x10. ha ha. On the bright side, the shots are all long or medium. No need to worry about dot-connecting. Also, though Greg's questions were longer and he rambled a bit more the second time around, your answers were more concise (probably because you wanted to kill me the entire time).

If anyone has ever been on the receiving end of a 'DENISE GLARE', you have not experienced sheer terror until you have received a "SECOND LEVEL DENISE GLARE" I almost dropped the equipment! Yikes.

All in all, a fun time was had by...well...some of us.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Very funny, Allen.

I have no idea what long and medium shots are, but so long as they don't add 20 lbs, I don't care.

Oh, and sorry I blamed the missing tape on you.

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

ROFLOL!! Denise, as the person who got to direct who-knows-how-many videoed interviews, you had me hootin over here. Too funny!!!

Me? I'd rather do 'em live. Once they're over, they're done. No going back. So I don't give them another thought. None of the "if I'd only said that" kind of thing.

That's also why I love humor. If I can get 'em laughing, no one remember a word I've said - just that they laughed. Works every time. :o)

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

hey, you're ready for prime time now! What do you want to teach at ACFW? LOL

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

C, did you not just read about my terrifying interview?

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger allen said...

Yeah...but I really should have checked before I came over. they once gave us a camera with no batteries. The long and medium shots mean that your head won't dominate the frame. It always bugs me when people set the shot so that the entire frame is nothing but face. I also had the camera closer to Greg than to you. It was a small difference, but enough to make him look bigger and you look smaller.

:)

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

omgoodness, Denise, from one who shares your shoes (did I just write that?), I'm so sorry you had to go through it twice. ugh.

Just yesterday one of my favorite Bible study leaders said that being afraid of what you'll say is a form of pride. Love her, but o brother. As a mom of three, I've learned we're all wired differently and that pride is not nec. the issue (although probably the zit thing had a bit to do with, um, pride--jk)

As for me, my mind whirs so fast that it takes extraordinary amounts of energy to keep it from spitting out the most craziest things sometimes. This is why I write--and edit, edit, edit :). Et tu?

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Julie, I wish my mind ran fast. The truth is, I know exactly what I want to say, but it comes out as jibberish. WHen doing an interview, there's no backspace or delete key or two hours of staring out the window to think of how you're going to word it.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

Pride? I really don't think so. Nervousness prior to public speaking is normal and is actually a good thing. Strong feelings of anxiety are usually caused by unrealistic expectations and the belief that our goal is to be perfect combined with the realization that we are less than perfect. When speaking in a public setting, our primary concern should be in giving the people the information they need and we should be satisfied with good enough rather than striving for perfection. One of the things that has really helped me realizing that the audience wants me to be successful. In a live setting, it helps to talk to one person or a small group at a time. Make eye contact with someone. In an interview, talk to the interview, not the listening audience. It also helps to tell yourself that you will succeed. Prophecies tend to be self-fulfilling when it comes to public speaking. If you tell yourself and others that you are unprepared and you might fail, you probably will. If you do adequate preparation and then tell yourself and others that you are prepared and you are looking forward to the opportunity to speak, you will be much more relaxed and you will probably enjoy the experience.

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger allen said...

Don't worry, Denise, I'll be your backspace/delete key.I won't put anything in that seems like gibberish.

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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