Day 294: Speak or Die

carpoolThose few people who were lucky enough to be part of my university car-pool will know that I hate public speaking.  They will remember having to pull over on the side of the road on mornings that I had a presentation due so that I could lose my breakfast into the gutter before hopping back into the vehicle (I’m not kidding here)

I actually took a zero for one presentation thinking that the alternative (actually showing up and presenting) was not worth the anxiety.

So who would have believed that I would willingly take up public speaking?

speakingOn Sunday, Grant and I spoke about the Clean Bin Project at the Earth Day celebration in Squamish.

And yes, of course it was fine.  And no, I did not lose my lunch.

In fact, we met some really inspiring people who are doing all sorts of things like working towards plastic bag reduction, selling multi-tier worm composting containers, and building an office that is completely non-toxic.

A small crowd braved the elements down at thespeaking2 beach, taking part in bike rides, interpretive walks, and facepainting.  We listened to local musicians and huddled around the campfire, eating handmade fudge, organic smoothies, and burgers that were, to be honest, a little on the dry side.

One woman came up to us after we spoke and said we were her “new heroes”.  It absolutely made my day.

It was also good practice, as we have a couple other events booked this summer like the Recycling Council of BC’s ECOnomics conference.    We are starting to realize that public speaking is an essential tool  for communication, and we’d better brush up on it now if we ever want to promote our documentary or share our story. (Not everyone reads blogs you know)

The actual Earth day is this Wednesday, April 22.  I’m sure there is something going on in your community, so get out there, have fun, and participate.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Day 294: Speak or Die

  1. Claire

    excellent Jen, i’m glad the days of ‘losing your breakfast in the gutter’ are over! I think i dreaded those rides to school just as much as you did!

  2. Lori

    Good job Jen! Let us know the other events so we can come watch!

  3. Lindy-Lou

    Congratulations on conquering your fear of public speaking. It is amazing how being passionate about sharing your knowledge with others provides the motivation and courage to overcome personal obstacles. Both David Suzuki and Noam Chomsky have said in interviews that they never set out to become spokespersons, but that they were frustrated and disappointed by the lack of information available to the general public and felt a moral responsibility to share what they knew and encourage dialogue.

    • That’s what Grant was saying too. He just wanted to quietly make this film about our year and let it speak for itself. But that’s not the way it works these days. The irony is that we don’t know more than the general public. We’re trying to find out what the best choices are as a consumer and even now, we aren’t sure. That said, I think all dialog is good dialog and if we can get people to think differently about their waste or even get a kick out of what we’re doing, I’m pretty happy.

  4. OMG! You are SO brave. I’ve been invited to do talks and I have to say No. I just can’t do it. Ask me to write and I’ll do it, ask me to speak and forget it. You did really well to get over your fear and I bet you were sensational.

    Well done!

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