So the training began early Friday morning. We met at a local church; there were five of us there for the training and two trainers, Marci and Monica. The other participants were from Oxford, Hattiesburg, Gautier,and another girl from Brandon. (It was all women). We introduced ourselves and afterward watched Marci and Monica do a sample presentation from their own experiences.
We then worked through the presentation in sections. Each section of our presentation can only be three minutes long. We did Introduction, Dark Days, and Acceptance the first day and Treatment, Coping Skills, and Successes, Hopes and Dreams the second day. Each of us got up and practiced our presentation for each section. We also have a DVD to play during the presentation and so learned how to manage that.
Each section presented it’s own difficulties for me. My story is so long and drawn out that I can’t hardly condense it down to three minutes–I wound up shorting it considerably and talking too fast to try to get it all in during such a short time. During the Dark Days segment, I concentrated on the year before I had my first big breakdown. Acceptance consisted of me telling about coming to Jesus and finally accepting that there was a reason for me to have this disease even through I did not know what it was at the time. In Treatment, we talk about medication ad therapy without endorsing specific medicines. In Coping Skills we talked about what we did to manage day-to-day. I talked about prayer, a low-stress life, my bogging, and my church activities. And in Successes, Hopes, and Dreams, I talked about how coping daily was a success and that I hopes to one day be able to share my story in a book.
My main goals in improving my talk are to slow down, speak more extemporaneously, and be as open as I can about my problems. So I plan to practice and see what I can do to improve in those areas. It was a very enjoyable training–Marci and Monica made it fun even though the subject matter is very serious. I talked to the executive director of our local group, and she said she would go ahead and start trying to line up places for me to speak. So I am looking forward to that. Wish me grace in the places I go that I can get my message across and tell my story in a way that helps people.