There I was, sat in the Sandwell Council Chambers in Oldbury. A very grand room with those special microphones infront of everybody so that you can push the button and speak. I must say that the Chambers are much nicer than the equivalent in Solihull.
Also in the room were about 100 council big wigs and landlords. I was in a good mood because I had spent the minutes preceeding the meeting strolling round making effortless small talk. Some had congratulated me on the successful launch of my project earlier in the week and one or two of the bigger wigs seemed genuinely pleased to see me.
I watched the meeting unfold, silently criticising the speakers for their failure to engage and communicate. Disdainfully I looked down on some as they insisted on speaking out and complaining with the least bit of tact or grace. I knew my slot would be excellent. It would show my true potential as a speaker and would amaze onlookers, my line manager included, that such a young professional could hold an ageing cynical audience.
I couldn’t wait to get up there. Mentally I talked through my notes preparing for my turn…
…minutes later I was frozen. The words didn’t even stick in my throat, they just weren’t there at all my mind was a total blank. I had made a satisfactory case to begin with but my penultimate point, I knew, had come across wet and insignificant. The room stared back at me. I tripped and groped my way through what had meant to be a final hammer blow that would convict my audience to give of their time and effort to my wonderful project. However, it turned out to be a limp, tepid effort.
I walked back to my seat. My line manager helpfully leaned over and said, “You bottled it up there, didn’t you?”