I am sure that, at some point in the preparation for tonight’s Layspeaker and Lay Leader banquet, I was told that our presentations should be about 7 minutes each. Five speakers times 7 minutes equals 35 minutes; add a little transition time, and maybe someone goes over a minute or two, and you have a 45-minute program. Sounds about right. Much beyond that and people start to lose interest.
The trouble is, if you’re passionate about something, it’s hard to boil it down to 7 minutes. I went back and forth in my mind about how to hit the highlights of LEAMIS, my experience with LEAMIS, and to briefly address the fact that the people we’ve worked with in Kenya have been affected by the recent violence but are still personally uninjured.
But the first speaker got up tonight and went for 25 minutes on the dot. The second went for 10 minutes. There goes your 35-minute window right there.
The first speaker is, I’m sure, a fine man, and the ministry about which he was speaking is fantastic. But it’s just rude to go that far over your allotted time slot and take that much of people’s attention when you know there are other speakers following you.
I was next, and I tried to keep to what I had understood was the time frame. (I can’t find it in any of my written correspondence; it’s possible that what was said was 7-10 minutes.) I think I did about 8 or 9 minutes. It sounded rushed and shallow; I’m sure I was the least effective of the five speakers, and I feel like I let LEAMIS down, but I also suspect that it’s because I was the only one who made a concerted effort to stay within the time frame.
That sounds petty, and selfish, and I guess in fact it is petty and selfish. But I had to vent anyway.
Otherwise, the banquet was nice enough, although several of the people I looked forward to seeing weren’t there. Jim and Emily Austin (who was responsible for me speaking in the first place) weren’t there because Jim is under the weather, and Don Ladd was also not there due to health issues as well. Art and Stacie, with whom I sat at last year’s banquet, weren’t there either. I was sitting at a table by myself, and Tom and Nita Wright took pity on me and came over and sat with me.
It’s been a long week; I’m glad it’s Friday (although Friday means less than it used to now that I have to work a couple of hours every Saturday).
Do I sound like I have a bad attitude?