I got the email at around 11am this morning, I had been waitlisted for a one-minute pitching contest last week, and I was in – could I present at 6 tonight? I checked in with my recovering bod, said absolutely and got to work, crafting my intricate business, my baby, into a 60 second pitch. I nailed it. It interacted with the audience without the annoying, “raise your hand if…” cliche, there was an easy-to-relate to joke, it was at a pub and I was going to cheers at the end, and it explained my business wonderfully… A fucking delight, is what I wrote.
I got on stage, waved at the crowd of around 200, cheerfully said hello, and I dove in. The first thirty seconds went beautifully, but then I noticed one woman eagerly nodding her head at me whilst smiling. Then I noticed several others doing the same thing. Like they really wanted to know what I was going to say next. I’ve only had a handful of people in the near decade I’ve been obsessed with this idea even listen intently, let alone eagerly!
I was stunned.
Then I realized I had stopped talking.
My pitch was gone. What was my business again? My mind went absolutely and completely Zen-ass blank. Blankety-blank-blank-blank.
“This isn’t happening”, I finally said, still smiling with the crowd, whose eager listening had turned into compassionate encouragement. “This is just water, I swear! Haha!”, I said, raising my glass, a hearty laugh boomed from the crowd. The moderator looked at me meaningfully, but didn’t yell BEEP! like he had to the other contestants when their time was up. “My website is a much better public speaker, Halcyon Cafe dot com!”, I said, undoubtedly accompanied by some spazzy gesture.
Uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh. I dashed out as soon as I could do so discreetly, planning to come home and throw a real hissy. I took a few deep breaths, and manned up, went back in. Everyone was so kind. And not just like, Portland kind, which can be two-faced and weird, it wasn’t like a bless your heart kind of niceness, you know? Real kind. They were so sweet, and kept telling me that I did a great job, and seemed to have covered enough in the first half, and one even complimented my poise! Ha!
Oy. So. Mortified. I couldn’t even recall my tagline! Good times for a good cause. It’s like the easiest sentence to ever happen. That’s what makes it a good tagline!
Son of a biscuit eating muffin. Oh well. At least I did a brave thing! I got so much work done today, it felt really good. And now I know that the investing community here is really quite the community indeed, and a supportive and kind one at that. Maybe someone out there is unoffended by buffoonery and is in want of a heart-oriented investment (with a nice ROI). Who knows?
The real silver lining has to be my health though – adrenaline may have been a factor, but I felt pretty darn awesome today, minus, you know, the paralyzing horror and embarrassment.
Next time – NOTECARDS.