When I Failed to Be Gracious: My First TV Interview

When I Failed to Be Gracious: My First TV Interview

This week I’ll admit it was hard to be inspired. At long last I had access to the seven-minute television interview I did a couple months ago. I thought it went well, but after I reviewed the clip I was disappointed.

In myself.

I’d been given the questions in advance so I had time to think about my responses. Granted, I wasn’t prepared for the hot lights, the gigantic digital clock ticking its red numbers through each of my words, or the fiercely talented-but-intense producer who was unafraid to scrap a recording and start from the beginning if anyone in the room dared cough, sneeze, or rustle their notes too loudly.

Nevertheless, the questions were asked and answered as planned. But after the camera turned off, I felt strangely empty, like I’d had forgotten something, something basic, but important. I tried to discount the feeling, filling the void with a big smile for the still shots.

But something in my gut told me I didn’t say what I wanted to say.

A couple of years ago when I was preparing for my first panel discussion on dealing with adversity, I sought the advice of a friend who is a master and veteran of public speaking. I was struggling with how to talk about difficult things – my paralysis, my special needs children, the death of my brother— without losing my composure.

He asked me one question: “How do you want to leave your audience when you finish?”

As I watched the video, his words came back. I may have said everything I wanted to say, but I did not leave the audience the way I wanted to.

What could’ve made it better?

I didn’t give others enough credit.

Although I thanked my hostess for inviting me, I neglected to thank her for her beautiful words of introduction. I noted how much I liked the title of my book and yet failed to give credit to my publisher who came up with it! And, I ended my comments inviting viewers to join my subscriber family instead of thanking my hostess for including me on her show!

Yikes! The arrogance.

I forgot to be gracious. My mother would be appalled!

It’s taken me weeks to be able to look at it a second time, much less consider sharing it with you. But, I wanted you to see it because of what I’ve learned from it. And, let’s face it, if I’m supposed to be of the resilience sort, well, that’s what we do – we learn from our mistakes. We learn from the things in our lives that we didn’t plan. We examine the situation, learn from it, and vow to keep moving forward now that we are a little wiser.

So thank you, Shabnam Samuel Thakar for your thoughtful introduction and for including me in your show at the suggestion of fellow author, Diane Pomerantz. Thank you for your bold adventure in creating Dewdrops and Words, a television show dedicated to featuring women authors. (For more about Shabnam click here and here.)

And thank you, Brooke Warner, publisher extraordinaire, for the title of my book. Rethinking Possible has become more than a book title; it’s become a daily mantra for me. I am grateful to you and that lively and creative mind of yours that you so generously share with all your authors.

So that’s what I’ve learned. Maya Angelou may say it best:

So with that in mind, I must thank YOU! Thank you for reading, for responding, and for being my energy booster when I grow weary. Thank you for supporting my book! For coming to my events, inviting me to your book clubs, writing reviews, sharing posts, and telling friends that you enjoyed reading it. Yes, writing can be lonely. But my, oh my, how it can connect us! And I am grateful.

I hope you can feel it.

Here’s the clip. Although I wish I’d been more appreciative and gracious, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn!

How about you? Have you ever missed a chance to be gracious and learned from it? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Neehah! Note the new name!)

P.S. We’re up to 52 five-star amazon reviews! Thank you so much! It means a lot!
P.S.S. And, thanks for the good wishes for Beckett James! Blakely Faye was having a little too much fun in that horrible UNC-Virginia Tech football game last week. Hang in there, Beckett! Basketball season is coming! #GoHeels

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