Your main character must give a public presentation. Is he nervous? What is she going to say? How does he imagine the audience will act? How does the speech go?

Write about public speaking for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to give feedback on a few practices by your fellow writers.


public speaking

Photo by Brisbane City Council

Here’s my practice:

When he woke up at 5:34 that morning the speech, which would be held in just six hours and twenty-six minutes in the Biltmore Hotel, was already pressing on him. On television, he watched a show about a mother who put her child’s head in a vice as punishment and slowly tightened the clamps until the boy’s skull cracked and he was taken to the hospital (he “fell”). While less barbaric, he felt parents regularly inflict emotional vices on their children with damages just as permanent. To him, three o’clock in the afternoon was a jaw—rigid and unrelenting—that would crush him. The other jaw was this moment, now 5:37, which was turning him inextricably closer to his doom.

His assigned speech was, “True love is not a pop song.” His mother was enthusiastic about the topic. She bought him a stack of ten CDs and a large pair of earmuff headphones. He sat cross legged before the stereo in the living room listening to Katy Perry and Celine Dion (his mother’s choices) and she took breaks from cooking dinner to sit beside him, plugging in her own matching pair. While she listened, she looked wistfully into the distance, no doubt reliving her own “true love” moments, and then broke her gaze to suggest talking points. He felt he would die.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

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