Friday, April 17, 2015


I can't decide if this post should be about 

                                                                              HOW TO SPEAK BEFORE A GROUP.

Yesterday I was the guest speaker before a group of lovely Sunshine Seniors at their monthly luncheon.

That's me speaking before the Sunshine Seniors

All I knew was that they were interested in me talking about the book I had recently published. It's "Springtime In Magnolia", in case any of you missed that. (tongue in cheek)

Back in the '80s and on into the '90s I was used to getting up in front of people and speaking my mind. At one time I was the president of the Extension Homemakers Clubs for my county where I lived. But, where I really found a voice was after I founded a chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. I spoke before groups then, I was on the state board, nothing fazed me when it came to pushing for better laws and stiffer penalties against drunk drivers.
I am introducing Alabama's Attorney General Don Seigelman at a MADD meeting.

But, that was back when I was young younger and full of ideas and energy. 

So, I was worried concerned about now putting myself back before a crowd.

People tell me all the time how inspired they are by the fact that I just had this book published... at age 80. (80 3/4 if you are counting)

Folks can't imagine themselves or anyone else doing things at that age. People that old should be sitting at home in a rocking chair, fanning with a cardboard fan while watching some old 'I Love Lucy' reruns.

I'd initially written my speech on paper. Then I just jotted down keywords on file cards. I was sure to number those things so I wouldn't lose my place.

So, I got up before the mike and I told them about how I had decided to write this book and some of the process it took to get it finished. And, I told them just enough about the story line to whet their appetite. 

I did have some books for sale with me... just in case.

But, once I got before the listeners I found it so easy to just tell my story. Occasionally I'd glance down for that key word but not often.

After talking about the book for a few minutes, I switched lanes! I started talking about how we make choices in our lives. We can either chose to sit in that rocking chair or we can chose to fulfill our dreams.

And, I ended with this quote from Mark Twain.
I found this on Pinterest (where else?)

The group was so generous with their kind words. Many of them said I had inspired them. I certainly hope so. That seems to be my purpose in life these days... to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do the same.

Oh, by the way, ( BTW if you are really tech hip) I sold a bunch of books!!



    You are an inspiration - wish I had been there sitting with that lovely group of interested people.
    Mark Twain's quote is really wonderful and I have to admit I've followed it to the word during the past several years. Sailing away from safe harbor and seeing the many marvels of this world has kept me going. . . . . . . now only I can do it for another 10 years, which will take me to your age, I'll feel doubly blessed! No porch rocking yet - but I do love taking a tea break out there with the flowers and birds!!!

    Hugs - Mary

  2. Latane,
    Love your spirit, talent, inspiration and vitality!

  3. i am a nurse, i heard many regrets from patients who were passing on. it's really a wonderful experience to share someones last minutes and words with them. i was so often happy to be with them, some would have been alone in their last minutes. no one ever said they wished they had worked more and played less. no one ever talked about money, i loved when people told me they had lived a full life, that they had nor regrets!!!

    YaY for you, touching others with your words and spirit!!!

  4. my comments always always get kicked back via email, i hope you are seeing them!!!!

  5. So proud of you!!!!!! I'm sure your speech/talk was TERRIFIC... Anytime we are passionate about something, we can easily talk about it... You are so right: Life is about making CHOICES... Like you, I choose to stay as active as possible for as long as possible. God Bless.

  6. How I'd love to have been there to hear you speak! And you look simply lovely---dignified and graceful and knowledgeable, but I swear I can see that twinkle in your eye from here.

    Here's to Growing Older, Aging Gracefully, and finally doing all those things we left for SOMEDAY.

    Brava and Excelsior!


  7. Glad to hear you wowed them. Sounds like it was a wonderful speech. Love the quote from Twain.

  8. How I envy you for being able to stand up and speak before a group. That is certainly not my forte! You are definitely growing old gracefully!

  9. So exciting! Sounds like a wonderful luncheon and I am so glad you slipped back into your comfort zone. LOVE the Mark Twain quote! Need to cross stitch it and hang it on the wall! I'm serious!!! I'm proud of you, Mom, and so glad you sold a ton of books! Yay!

  10. I love the Mark Twain quote, needed that!

    I admire you for speaking in public. I would quake in my shoes, or at least I used to when I had to in school on the debate team, etc. I wish I could have heard you speak. I think you must be a courageous woman!

  11. How wonderful for you! I have only 280 books left to sell! sigh.


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