Public Speaking: “Um..uh..um uh..um.”
Posted on April 8th, 2017 @ 11:41 am


I remember when I was 5, my mother took me to a screening at the hospital to assess my skills as a 5 year old going into Kindergarten. The one thing I scored marginally on was my speech.  We knew I had trouble pronouncing any consonant cluster that started with an “S” that wasn’t my first name.  I called shrimp “srimp.”  My mother had me pronounce it “sh-rimp” to force my mouth to be able to get the muscle memory to say the word properly. Another thing I was zinged on was the fact I said “Uh apple.” My mother knew she got that from her.

My mother may have had only an associates degree, but she was a journalist’s daughter and she was strict on our speech.  Growing up, I didn’t have much confidence, and it came across in my speech.  She dreaded assignments that required public speaking.  She knew I would freak out and start going “Um..uh..um uh..um.”

I still do to this day.  I have to practice a speech to be comfortable.  I am not that type of person that I can do it on the fly. In my Business English class in college, we had do a few practice runs on our presentation. On the day of the presentation, as I was presenting, I dropped my mouse.  Internally, I was freaking out. Yet, something in me took control and as I picked up the mouse, I said “Oops, well accidents happen.” After that, I went back into the presentation.  My professor made a remark about it in my grading sheet that she was pleased to see I didn’t let it derail my part of the presentation.

In my Computer Ethics class, for a group presentation, Joey was frightened at my part of the presentation.  He knew I couldn’t charm people like he could in a presentation.  After my final presentation for my degree, he critiqued me. He worked on giving employment interviews with me.

I know I’m kind of sardonic about Joey on this blog, but overall, he really did want to help me and did help me.  I can’t deny the help I did get from him.

With work, I had to give a presentation on giving presentations. No one sees me at work, but it’s still just as nerve wracking via the phone and WebEx.  The one thing I remarked in my presentation is that I do suffer from nerves.  I was nervous giving the presentation at the moment. I didn’t hide it. However, I gave tips about how to overcome the nerves.  Also, they know at work I am hesitant about public presentations. They know I am content being a background player. My leadership best comes from the behind the scenes.  I know public speaking is a weakness and the use of a keyboard and mouse is my strength.  I am more at ease writing than I am speaking.

Now that I have my background out in the open, I have got to address what I just saw this morning.  Not to get into specifics with my personal life, I have been living in a hospital for the past 48 hours.  I am ok.  I am not a patient. That said, living in a hospital waiting room, sometimes you are stuck waiting what another person in the room places on the TV.  For me this morning, it’s stuck watching CNN.

I wasn’t paying attention to Smerconish until he had on Prof. Ann Lee.  Now she caught my ears.  I don’t know what she was advocating.  All I heard was “Um..uh..um uh..um.” It was driving me bonkers!

I bring this up as an example of what not to do in public speaking:

She was doing everything I was taught and encouraged not to do! To me, it sounded like she wasn’t prepared for the interview.  It sounded to me she wasn’t certain of what she was arguing for or against. She wasn’t persuasive. She sounded like she was bored.

So why even comment on this? I guess because of my known weaknesses in public speaking, I’m a little bit prone to having these weaknesses stand out for me. I’m always looking for examples of what not to do and what to do. She may be a prolific and entertaining writer, but on TV, I have no idea what she wanted me to know.

I recommend to people wanting to improve themselves in public speaking or those that teach public speaking to use this as an example.  Be charming.  Be persuasive. When it comes to public speaking, you want to be able to say sold when it comes to the snake oil.


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Shame on the Survivor Producers
Posted on March 9th, 2016 @ 10:13 pm

So, I watched tonight’s Survivor. I enjoy the show.  One of the few reality TV shows that doesn’t seem to fake it.  However, I have to call foul on the challenge tonight that ended up with 3 contestants having a heatstroke, with one having to be pulled from the game and evacuated by helicopter.

Those bouts should NEVER have happened.  The medical staff should have taken control when it was obvious it was taking ALL the teams a long time to find the bags in the sand.  To see those contestants sit in the blaring sun for 45 minutes looking for balls in the sand was brutal.  Also, I thought the point of the Hippocratic Oath was “I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.”  The medical staff clearly should have known that the conditions were dangerous to all the players at that 45 minute mark.  They allowed the players to be harmed, both physically (the 3 that went down), and mentally (those that saw it all go down).

I know some people will complain and say it’s what’s the contestants signed up for when they agreed to play.  I remember in the old days of Survivor when it was clear that Barramundi lost all the food supplies, they stepped in and gave an offer to them to replenish food. If production could interfere there, why not in the heat?  Sometimes, you have to say screw it to the game and do the right thing.  The right thing after everyone was still looking for the bags would have been stop the challenge until it was SAFE to play again.

While I am talking about Survivor, I am sad to see Alecia was voted out.  She was stuck with 2 pigs called “men,” or that’s how I saw it.  She may not have been the best contestant, but she never gave up.  I think the episode where she got the fire was going show the different in her and the “men” of her team.  They made fun of her for spending 5 hours trying to make fire while they just bummed off in the shelter.  But who was the one that got the fire going?  Ms. I-Won’t-Quit!  Sure, call that editing, in terms of making the “men” look like bums, but the editors can only edit the footage the teams provided.

We need more Alecias around; we have enough of those bums as it is.


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TV



The Participant Ribbon
Posted on May 25th, 2014 @ 10:41 am

I only caught part of this video the other day, but enough that I did want to make a comment about its core principle. I am not going to talk about the video itself.

You see, when I was a kid, way back in the late 1980s, my school had a Field Day each year. I loved field day. It meant summer was near and it was an excuse to get out of the class room. Our field day was always held at the affiliated Catholic high school. Mothers would come out and cheer us on.

In first and second grade, I always got 2 ribbons. One was a white third place ribbon and the other was a green participant ribbon. They were jokes to me. Everyone got that green ribbon. The third place ribbon was a way for the volunteer moms could give every one a ribbon for at least the relay race. My class would be broken into teams, usually 4 teams. The first place team got a blue ribbon; second place would get the red ribbon, and all the other teams placed third. And ALL the kids had to run the relay. So yes, I knew that white ribbon was a pity ribbon.

I remember in second grade, I was crying because my sister, Nicki, who was only in first grade, had a red second place ribbon in an event other than relay. I think it was the Potato Race  It sucked knowing you weren’t that great at athletics. My mother consoled me about it, told me I was a winner anyways, and then promptly took us to McDonald’s for the other part of the field day ritual.

The next year, for Field Day, I was not expecting much for ribbons in count.  I knew I was going to get the relay ribbon and the participant ribbon.  This year, I was entered into the Potato Race.  I remember racing my heart out.  I thought I had won second place.  I finally got a ribbon of my own.  When I saw my classmate Melissa get the red ribbon, my heart was broken.  I thought I hadn’t placed.  I felt dejected.  I walked away to cry.  Next thing I know, Vic’s mother came over, asked me my name, and promptly wrote it on a ribbon, and then pinned it to me.  Maybe I had placed third, after all?  A white third place ribbon in something other than relay would be a big deal to me.

I looked down at the ribbon.  It was a blue ribbon.  A BLUE RIBBON! This was better than that red ribbon my sister won the year before.  I also remember my class walking by the bleachers where the parents were sitting to observe.  Next thing I know, I hear my mother clapping and jumping up and down.  She could see I had a blue ribbon on my chest, and she was proud and relieved.  Proud that I earned that ribbon.  Relieved that I wasn’t going to be crying after the end of the day.

As I got older, I cherished only the blue ribbon.  I got the white and green one for merely showing up.  I had to earn that blue one.  So I carried a potato on a spoon across 10 yards.  I did it and I did it before the rest of my classmates.  It was mine!

Yes, the blue ribbon, not the white and green ribbons, taught me about earning things and how earning things are rewarding.  Well that, and all the stuff I earned in school.  In first grade, if were earned the most amount of stars each week, we got a certificate.  Once I learned how to get one, I did everything I can to get one.  I think my mother ran out of wall space in my room at year.  I did the BookIt program because I loved getting free pizza.

Other the years, it has encouraged me. In college, I worked hard in school to keep my grades up.  It kept me on scholarship.  I was able to pay for a majority of my schooling via grants and scholarships.  I got a degree and my parents didn’t have the burden of paying for it.  My parents told me when I was 14 and I toured Fayetteville State University as a part of the National Junior Honor Society field trip that I would have to pay for my college.

And now, at my age, I am going to grad school.  How I am paying for it while paying for a car and a house? Again, the reward system.  My job has a tuition program.  For as long as I’ve been there, my employer will pay for the bulk of my degree, provided the degree is related to my line of work.  As long as I do well at work, I can get this reimbursement if I go well in school.  I have been working my tail off at work, and school.  It’s hard, but it was worth it when I got that A in that class.  However, I know if my work starts suffering, the degree goes on the back burner.  The degree won’t pay for my car and house at the moment.

To loop back to the participant ribbon again.  I know people that took the participant ribbon in their lives.  Those people expect the world to give them everything. They get mad when they don’t get what they think the deserve.  They are miserable.  They don’t appreciate what good they have in there lives.  A lesson in winning, as well as losing, is what field day is about.  It’s not the ribbon in the potato race that matters; it’s the lesson one received in getting the ribbon in the potato race that we all need.

 


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I am SO disappointed at the moment.
Posted on March 31st, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

I just watched the How I Met Your Mother finale.  I HATED IT.  If you haven’t watched it, and don’t want it spoiled, stop reading now.

Yes, it lived to the premise of how Ted met his children’s mother.  I know life isn’t full of fairy tales.  But DAMN IT!  When I watch TV, sometimes I want the fluff and fairy tales.  I was hoping I could get a modern day fairy tale out of that show.

I remember when the show first came on.  I cried at the first episode. I felt like Ted.  Never thinking I would end up with the person I’m meant to be with.  I was 26.  Someone I thought cared for me, but didn’t, was leaving me in tears.  I was wondering what I did wrong that he wouldn’t love me.  If I couldn’t be in love, at lease someone on TV could be.

Life went on since 2005.  My mother died a few months after the show premiered.  I graduated college. I moved to Atlanta.  I went through another painful relationship.  I lived in Atlanta for 4 years.  My dad got sick. My sister got married.  I moved home to Savannah.  I bought a house. My dad lost his job.  I had friends that moved away.  I had friends that had kids. Again, back to the whole life is NOT a fairy tale.

But through all my pain and changes, I still had How I Met Your Mother.  Eventually, Ted would find the one he was meant to love. Maybe I would, too.

And tonight, yes, he found the one he was meant to love.  But then they KILL her?  What the hell?  I watched this show for 9 years and he only gets to be with her for 11 years?  We get to know her a little throughout the last season and then they kill her.  They can’t even tell us how she died?  Yet, that’s not what I am most upset about. I am upset about Robin and Barney.  I loved them together.  And they just break them up like that right after a beautiful wedding?  They have Robin and Ted end up together? All I saw in that last episode is that she was alone a lot after divorcing Barney.  If they were going to separate, I wanted them to get back together.  If Robin and Barney should have divorced, then they never should have reunited them after the FIRST breakup.  Those rooting for that relationship were tricked.

As the viewer of this show, I feel like I have been stabbed in the back.

I know.  It’s just a TV show.  None of the characters are real.  However, they do become family and friends.  You care about them because a part of you is in them.  You hope for the best for them.  You hope for the best because, in a way, you are hoping for the best for yourself.  And when you see a finale that rubs you the wrong way like this finale did, yes, it can be a littel personal.

I’ll get over it.  Life goes on. But, I am disappointed.


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TV



So I Bought A House
Posted on April 9th, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

Walking the dog in the morning

I was watching the Braves game and seeing a post from a friend asking about the different Fox Sports networks. It got my brain going. I starting thinking about how the Braves used to be seen nationally and how you can’t really see them outside of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and parts of Western North Carolina. And how I used to live at Ft. Bragg and now they wouldn’t be able to get the Braves. And then I started wondering if the boy I really liked at 14 was still a Braves fan. And then I though tweeting that and then just came to the conclusion to just write a blog entry.

But instead of dwelling in the past, let’s talk about my present.  And a giant present to myself.

I bought a house.  It’s going to cost me a fortune.  But, it’s mine.  I don’t have to share it with anyone except my cats and dog.  However, my dad is going to set up a room here and tonight, my sister Nicki is staying the night.  She’s in the living room at this moment watching TV as she works on a school project.

It’s a nice home. It’s not the dream home in Ascot in Fayetteville, NC I wanted and hope to share one day with Ryan.  Yes, looking back to those dreams when I was 14 I feel silly but living up to some of them.  Actually, this house is much better than those homes.  It’s only a few years old.  but it’s spacious. It’s big enough that it my farther or Nicki are here, we have the luxury to be alone if we want.  So, I don’t have kids running in the back yard, but I’ve got a fence for my dog.  PupPup has finally started to realize the fenced yard is hers.

While some dreams have yet to still come true, I am proud to have this house.  I got financing all on my own.  I’m not rich, but I keep my credit in check.

The funny thing about this house is that the neighborhood reminds me of the behind our house in Augusta.  That subdivision hit hard times and was not completed when we left Augusta.  This neighborhood is not complete because of the housing collapse a few years ago.  But, there are houses here, people here, it’s rural feeling, but still in the Savannah city limit, and quiet.  Nothing like living next door to I-285 in Atlanta.


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I think my blog lust is gone
Posted on January 21st, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

Just not in a mood to post this month.  The only thing of interest for me outside of just surviving holidays and apartment chaos, is Toddlers and Tiaras. I know people trash the show and think all pageants are bad, but they probably haven’t seen the part of pageant life not seen on that show.  I have. I know there are some off the wall antics at pageants.  There are things I do frown about.  I understand the negative, but I know people only see one half of the story.  But one thing I am sad to NOT see on this show and know they’ve phased out are the talent portions.  Pageants used to have talent portions. They were fun to watch the good performances and the bad ones always provided a good laugh later.  Well, such is life.


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Life · TV



I Find This Ad to be a Hoot.
Posted on August 14th, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

It’s one I enjoy watching. Got any ads you enjoy?


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Advertising · TV · Videos



Disappointment in the History Channel
Posted on January 4th, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

Remember my rant about cable channels abandoning their roots?

Today on Fark, there was a discussion about an LA Times article about History getting into reality programming.  In the discussion was this gem of a pie chart:

History Channel Programming

It actually prompted me to write the History Channel a letter:

I just read enough of an LA Times article titled “History channel pursues updated look”.  I stopped at the part about an Annie Oakley related reality show.

What has happened to the History Channel?  I am barely watching the channel I used to love because they have removed the element that caused me to watch it: HISTORY!

I do not come to History to watch reality TV.  When I do have Ice Truckers on, it’s usually for background noise to fall asleep to.  I have no interest in it other wise. I don’t watch Pawn Stars, either.

I hardly see Modern Marvels on anymore, which was the show I enjoyed the most.  It showed discoveries and observations of the past that people used to improve things of the present.

And what is up with the UFO stuff?  Not everyone believes in UFOs.  That stuff should belong on Sci-Fi (excuse me, that’s SyFy now, which is another example of a cable channel abandoning its roots).  Same goes with all the Nostradamus and other guessing games of the Bible and physics.  Half of Nostradamus’s predictions haven’t even come true.

If A&E wants a Discovery Channel clone, turning the History Channel to that clone is not the way to go.

And believe it or not, I am a 31 year old female.  I have always enjoyed history. I had a professor in college beg me to become a history major because of my love of history.  I have learned a lot from the OLD History channel, and not this new impostor.  I come to History to watch documentaries.

I may be one viewer with a small voice, but many of your old fans feel like I do.  Abandoning the History may bring you higher ratings now, but who’s to say it will in the long run.  As it is now, your advertisers are loosing one set of eyeballs with me choosing not to watch you any more.

I doubt I’ll get a reply, but at least I got my opinion of my chest. I’m getting sick of all these cable channels becoming clones of each other.


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TV



Remember When…
Posted on October 31st, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  • …American Movie Classics (AMC) played old movies?
  • …Music Television (MTV), Video Hits One (VH1), and Country Music Television (CMT) aired music videos?
  • …Sci Fi was science fiction?
  • …History Channel aired history documentaries?
  • …The Weather Channel was the weather forecast?
  • …Arts & Entertainment (A&E) had an arts component?
  • …The Learning Channel (TLC) was about learning?
  • …Home Box Office (HBO) was about movies?
  • …Cartoon Network was about cartoons?
  • …Game Show Network (GSN) was about game shows?
  • …Biography was about biographies?
  • …G4 was about video games and technology?

All these channel once has a niche.  Now, they all, in a way, have strayed from their original purpose?  Who knew “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” would morph into “1000 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” 17 years later


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TV



Free Fun
Posted on September 28th, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

Ducks

Tonight, I decided show my father where my mailbox was located.  On the way back to my apartment, we noticed the decorative pond on the way back was filled with ducks, like pictures above.  No, the picture was not taken tonight.  I grabbed an old box of Cheez-Its and and came back to the pond. We decided to feed the rest of the box to the ducks.  It was quite fun watching the ducks go at the crackers, fighting each other and the fish in the pond.

It was also quite a comfortable night.  I would love to open the windows if there wasn’t fear at the cats would push out the screens.  Graysie got caught once.

And while I’m posting, don’t forget to vote for Tom Delay on Dancing with the Stars.  There is just something about him being on the show that is entertaining.  Be it you think it’s a real joke or that he’s really that good, the point is it’s entertaining.  Let’s keep him around for a few more weeks.  Let’s stay entertained.


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