A month or so ago I received an email asking me if I’d speak at an upcoming Senior’s Lunch.
I don’t do much public speaking, but I’ve also never had to be good at something to give it a go, so I figured what the heck, and agreed to do it.
I didn’t know what I was going to talk about. I emailed the lady the night before the lunch and asked her if I was talking about writing or work. She replied that I could talk about either one, or both. So I figured I’d get up and just talk.
I didn’t see the point of making any plans on what I was going to say. If I got up and read something, I’d just be reading something and that seems like it would defeat the purpose of me talking to the group. Plus, I don’t really like planning. It just sounds better to act like it was all part of the plan, versus me being too lazy to prepare.
So I got up and started talking. I think I hit most anything I would have wanted to say if I’d written up any notes. At least that’s what I’m saying now after the fact. I told them during my talk that I never knew what I was going to write about until something happened to me that week.
Thankfully, something happened. A) because I have a column this week now and B) I had an amazing time. It was their lunch I was talking for. I got there at 11:30 a.m. and left right at 1 p.m. I think they were waiting for me to be finished to eat, but I didn’t hear any of their stomachs growling from where I was standing, so I just kept talking.
I probably wore my welcome out. But truth be told, I didn’t want to leave when I left. They just ran out of questions.
This is one of those groups that go on trips together. I’m kind of hoping they need a speaker on some trip they have coming up. Preferably to a beach, but I’m not picky.
I came back to work and told my best work buddy how well it had gone and that I think I might be interesting. She was as shocked as I was. (And I was joking about the being interesting part. That sounds conceited.)
In all seriousness, it really did make my day to just go and talk to people. It’s like when I write a column that hits home to some stranger. We all just go through our lives thinking we’re just going through our lives, with our silly thoughts in our heads.
Then you meet people who are content to sit there and listen to you talk about you. You don’t know why. But it makes you feel good. They made me feel really good today.
And I hope all the new people who were unlucky enough to show up and have me as the guest on their first day come back next month anyway.
Sgt. Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and public information officer for the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. He is the author of two books, “Columns I Wrote” and “A Book I Wrote.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .