Open Wounds

Brain Freeze and The Slurpie of Doom

I was interviewed by Johnny Tann yesterday for his talk radio show From My Momma’s Kitchen.

It was an hour-long and I have to say I was nervous about it. I’ve done interviews before and I’m usually nervous about them. That is as it should be. They are anxiety provoking experiences.

Things I worry about include:

  • What will I say?
  • Will I say too little? Will I say too much? I have an hour to fill…
  • Will I embarrass myself? My family? (My wife would tell me before every improv show I did, “don’t embarrass the family,” which, of course, is exactly what you do in improv but…)
  • What if I get brain freeze and can’t think of a thing to say? (It’s the slurpie of public speaking and these days I use simple breathing techniques to get through it but it does still happen.)
  • What if I say something that doesn’t make sense? (Do I ever make sense?)
  • What if I say something that makes sense but is stupid? (That puts me back to embarrassing.)
  • What if I say the word ask like ax and my family hears about it (my wife and son have been trying to help me get the New York out of my accent but it’s tough going – it doesn’t seem to want to leave.)
Since I teach public speaking I know these are all normal things to think about – to worry about. And I have ’em just like most people do too even though I’m pretty experienced at the game of speaking. But when it’s talking about my book and myself and not content that I’ve come in to teach (HIV/AIDS, Leadership, Cultural Diversity, Relapse Prevention) it’s different. This kind of speaking is about me and I find that uncomfortable. It is humbling. It is grounding. And believe it or not it is also, when it’s over especially, a bit of fun.
It helps in these situations to have a good host. Johnny was a great host and had great questions and made me feel at home. If you haven’t checked out the show here’s the link:
Now it’s time to worry about something other than the giant slurpie of doom.

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