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Confessions of a Public Speaker

dezembro 3, 2009

by Scott Berkun

Confessions

I’m on a long flight from Seattle to Belgium, and the woman sitting next to me starts a conversation. Despite hiding behind the book in my hands, I’m now forced into a common and sometimes unfortunate air-travel situation: the gamble of talking to a stranger I can’t escape from. While it’s fun to be near someone interesting for occasional chats, being stuck next to a person who will not stop talking for nine hours is my idea of hell. (And you never know which it will be until later after you start talking, when it’s too late). Not wanting to be rude, I say hello. She asks what I do for a living, at which I pause. I’ve been down this bumpy conversational road many times. You see, I have two answers, and both suck.

The best answer I have is I’m a writer. I write books and essays. But saying I’m a writer is bad because people get excited I might be Dan Brown, John Grisham, or Dave Eggers, someone famous they can tell theirs friends they met. When they learn I’m one of the millions of writer’s they’ve never heard of – and not someone whose novel was turned into a blockbuster movie – they fall into a kind of disappointment never experienced by people who are lawyers, plumbers, or even assistant fry cooks at McDonald’s.

 (Chapter 1, page 2)

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