A Cowboy’s Faith: Speaking publicly offers service

buchmanhead“Getting up in front of a group of people still makes us very nervous.”

Despite our maturity, unmemorable and uncountable number of public talks, just the thought makes us uneasy for some reason.

Likely, it’s because we are a poor speaker. That’s been told us numerous occasions, and whenever our voice comes on a recording, we agree wholeheartedly.

Fortunately, the next two generations didn’t take after us, following the Better-Half’s abilities. That came to perspective during recent club day presentations when our grandson talked about caring for newborn pigs in his 4-H project.

Several years, he’s given demonstration about various livestock projects, and every time has come away with recognition. His achievements follow such abilities of other family, but not this one.

While sometimes resisting effort necessary to succeed at such, dedication always reaped success for his Dad, too.

Actually willing to give speeches at high school competitions, we were sometimes on “the team,” because nobody else would do it. Despite diligent, yet very nervous, effort, we still always got the booby prize.

Part of the reason was we had our speech memorized and speeded through, so we never forgot. Or, maybe nobody wanted to hear about horses, hogs, solving food problems and farm record keeping. Whatever, evaluators never liked the way we talked.

One county fair presentation did receive some notice, but that was obviously due to assistance from Nellie Belle, our sorrel mare, when we teamed up to demonstrate: “Preparing To Calf Rope.”

An illustrated talk about cleaning a paint brush also got bit of acclaim, likely for the closing statement: “We can go get an ice cream cone with the money saved,” while jingling loose change in our pocket.

Peculiar to that discourse is we didn’t put our actions where our mouth was, verified by hardened, useless paint brushes stowed in the shop corner. Yet, revitalizing the clean paint brush presentation for college speech class got passing grade.

Whatever the excuse for poor public speaking abilities, our voice must be distinct, because whenever we call somebody, they know who it is without identification, and too often apparent groan: “What’s he selling now?” Still, it’s nice to be able to talk, and offer assistance.

Reminds us of Isaiah 52:6: “Now, it’s time for people to know that I have something to say.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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