A random nervous breakdown unrelated to retrotech in any way

To this I might add, congratulations to my dearest friend. I’m sure I’ll man up for this occasion. Just had to panic on paper for a bit…

Oh, and here’s a dumb top-40 list of obsolete technology from MSNBC for your enjoyment, complete with yet another of the many endless references to that apocryphal NY Post story about typewriters and the NYPD.


  1. Type the speech and I’ll give it–I’m not scared of public speaking if I know what I am going to say.


  2. Those random nerves are good…they are the fuel you need to really give a good speech. So embrace them and when it comes time to deliver that speech, the nerves will turn into, well, for lack of a better term, speech-juice:)

    I really think that nerves visit before anything that is really special or important to you…

    And if that doesn’t help, realize that the world is not going to stop for the speech. An hour, day or week afterwards, the speech is over and its nothing but a memory, good, bad or indifferent!

  3. Remember how on the Brady Bunch they recommended you imagine everyone in front of you in their underwear? Don’t do that. I do that 24/7 and it hasn’t helped me at all.

    No, what you need is better chemical support. Ativan. Ask your preferred physician for a couple – that way you can take one ahead of time as a dry-run (to make sure you don’t start rambling incoherently or anything). Ativan (the wonder drug) has recently got me happily through airline flight and root canal work. Two enormous thumbs up.

  4. Public speaking? Hell, I can barely pick up the phone to order a pizza. The only way I am able to blather on in the blogs as I do is ’cause [sing-song] yooo can’t seee meee!

    Speaking of which, you just made me imagine you in your underwear, Duffy. I didn’t need that.

  5. It’s the only way to blog, baby! Wooohooooo! I feel sooooo free!

    wait, what?

    (word verif = “ursal”. Do you also have to say something at the ursal dinner? Or just the reception?)

  6. You have my profound sympathy. I just went to my brother’s wedding, and was terrified in the weeks approaching because as his only sibling, it seemed likely I’d have to do a toast. A few days ahead I learned that I was off the hook, because it was “traditional” for males to do toasts. Yay for oppression of women (in this case I was relieved)!
    Anyway, just remember that having written it up early, it is bound to be hilarious and entertaining knowing you. People will love it. The hardest part is the pre-dread, but once you get going, it will be fine. Try not to think about it, go into zombie mode as the moments approach, and just do it when the time comes. You’ll be awesome. [end of pep talk]

  7. See, I’m just the opposite. People wish that I’d stop speaking in public, what with the classical theater training and all those communications courses.

    That being said, I second Janis and will totally fill in for you if need be. I’ll even introduce myself as Cheryl and maybe do different voices and such. 🙂

    Seriously, though, you’ll be great. Anybody who is brave enough to share a sketch of an octodog is brave enough to do a speech, I say.

  8. I usually end up 2 seconds from throwing up before I make any kind of speech.

    I’ve always been told to practice it over and over and over again, of course, I also found it to be a load of bullocks.

    What I do is panic so much that I’m inevitably too tired by the time I have to walk to my death that I don’t care anymore.

    It seems to work quite well.
    I also do that with calling strangers on the phone. It drives my mm nuts.

    Good luck with that.

  9. What a lot of bologna. Where do they get the idea that people don’t pay for long distance any more simply because they use a cellphone to make those calls? What do they think those overpriced “plans”, roaming fees, and surcharges are? This is not with the sense-making.

    For the speech, you might try playing some space music and/or using a calming brainwave from Brainwave Generator, or drinking some chamomile or passion-flower tea beforehand. Any herb that is called a “nervine”, that’s the old-fashioned word for something with an anti-anxiety effect.


  10. I overcame my fear of public speaking when my ego inflated to the point that the desire for even hoped-for accolades outpaced my fear of speaking.;)

    You must simply be too modest and well-balanced. I think fear of public speaking is the norm, rather than the exception. Being social creatures, we respect our social groups enough to warrant the fear of coming across improperly in a speech.

    Take it from personal experience, it’s better to worry ahead of time and have it come out fine than swagger in with high hopes and blow it.

    WV: “honsed”; I didn’t totally honsed that speech up, did I?!! Just kidding.

  11. I’ve watched seasoned profs and public school teachers – who speak in front of folks every day of their lives – freak out completely when they’re up in front of their peers. Shaking hands, trembling voice, the whole nine.

    Joe is right. The swagger sometimes backfires, but visible nervousness makes the whole room want to give you a hug.

  12. I have utter faith in your ability to be unstayed from the completion of your appointed rounds.

    Public speaking gives me utter butterflies — and I was on the radio for years. Ah, but remember, the audience is pullin’ for you. That’s the best thing about in-person public speaking!

  13. I have been known to offer to be the pizza-buyer of a group so long as I don’t have to make the phone call…so obviously I’m not gonna be a big help here. 😉 I have the same sort of reaction to playing music in front of people, except that shaking is even *more* problematic when you’re trying to make eensy movements with your hands.

    But usually the first few seconds are the worst. And everyone listening *wants* you to succeed. And they aren’t taking it nearly as seriously as you are. So there’s that.

    Word verification: Santr. The Vermont version of Santa.

  14. A little secret about speeches: It is generally true that every other person in the room is so grateful to not be the one speaking, they will love you no matter what you say and before you even say it! You are their instant hero by default. I wish I had discovered this sooner in life, and been spared all those white-knuckled hooky days off from school and work. You will be stupendous, Strikethru. TAKE THE FLOOR AND DON’T GIVE IT BACK! 😉

  15. Nup

    I just want to say, that I was the recipient of Strikethru’s toast over the weekend and it was the most moving thing I have heard. She brought a tear to my eye and it was incredibly touching. She presented me with an artfully made typed version of the speech (though she modified it slightly before giving it) and I will definitely cherish that forever. She was the best “best woman” a groom could ever have!

  16. What else did you expect from the supreme lord of public speaking??