While I am getting much more comfortable with public speaking, my interview at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore made me more nervous. Mostly because I didn’t know the questions and therefore couldn’t rehearse my answers. I’ve never been someone who felt confident speaking off the top of my head. And then there was the reading out loud – I had to read two or three sections from my book.
First, which ones do I choose? And second, and probably more important, I suck at reading out loud. I always went to great lengths to avoid this at school, where there was the expectation that the students in leadership roles (I was one) would frequently read to the whole assembly.
Well you know what… it was OK. Actually it was more than OK, it was pretty good. What I had forgotten is that when you know your topic (which was me and my book), you know the answers. On reflection there were a couple of things I probably shouldn’t have said – being critical of a well-known entrepreneur – but hey, take a number, there are many who take pot shots at him.
My thanks to friends who came in to be supportive, especially those who drove in from Oakville. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and it made the whole event seem like a friendly conversation between friends. Annemarie Shrouder was a charming host who made you feel comfortable and at ease and she seemed to have genuinely liked my book, which helps.
So my advice to those of you facing a demon or taking a risk – just do it. It is usually worse in your head than in reality.