“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. I guess you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” -Jerry Seinfeld
One of the many crazy jobs that I have is working for Revolution Prep. Revolution Prep is a social justice oriented SAT/ACT Prep company that offers inexpensive test prep classes to regular and underprivileged students and unlimited financial aid to those that need it. Of course, we teach people from all walks of life, but we try to reach out to anyone even if they can’t afford it…
Anyway, one of the things that I do for Revolution (being one of the 2 or 3 actor types that work for them), is running marketing events for the company. This could be anything from ‘tabling’ at lunch at a school to talk to kids about SAT prep to small, informal presentations/Q and A sessions to students and parents about what colleges look for in applications and how the standardized tests factor in to the decision making process. Today, I was signed up to do an “up to 25 person” parent/student “Understanding the PSAT” session.
I showed up at the school 30 minutes early to set up my power point and materials. When I walked in, the guard at the front desk asked where we were supposed to have the presentation, and I told him in one of the classrooms. He called a building manager to come and open the classroom for me. The building manager led me into a brand new, gorgeous, 500 seat auditorium. I told him that there must be a mistake. “No mistake,” he said, the principal told him that the presentation would be in the auditorium. No problem, I thought. I’ll just have everyone sit in the first two rows and we’ll keep it tight knit within the room. About 20 minutes ’till 7, I told him that he could open the doors. 25 people my foot. By 10 minutes to 7pm, there was an auditorium full of people scattered everywhere. The guidance counselor apologized to me that there were more people there… MORE?!? They had invited 400 students and their parents to my ‘little’ presentation. All the Sophomores and Juniors in the whole school. So much for intimate. I gave a much larger than expected scale presentation without a microphone (there was one, but it was attached to a podium that I tried to stand behind for 2 minutes before I got so uncomfortable that I had to move out from behind it. Good projecting practice I suppose.) After I finished, I had a good laugh at my own expense: I still get paid by the hour for 1 person, 25 people or 200 people… I stayed after awhile to talk to parents who were interested in finding out how to sign up their son/daughter for my March class—
My boss sooooo owes me. * 😉 *
Whew. Long day, but definitely not worse than death. Scarier maybe, but not worse…
Jenny J Bean