Speaking in public is a double sided relationship. One side of the relationship is the writer alone preparing to meet and talk with the audience. The other side of the relationship is the writer talking to and with the audience. Preparing for a talk is kind of like preparing for a wedding. In practice, one does not see the other until the ceremony.
I am fortunate enough to be asked to speak in public, though I usually feel more fortunate after the talk. If there is a question and answer session after the talk, I feel I could have done better if I had known before hand who was in the audience. Have you ever come up with a perfect retort after the person left the room? It’s like that. Is the post-talk Q&A anti-climatic? I wonder as I prepare for my next talk.
Think about the Gettysburg Address. There was no Q & A. Two hundred and seventy two beautifully crafted words delivered by the Ancient One, who was only 54 when he delivered that speech. It is reported, those who were in the audience said they could not hear Lincoln, others said they did not even know he had spoken, his talk was so short. It is the words, and their message that live on. Most don’t report Lincoln was a great speaker like, John Kennedy or Winston Churchill. In this age of YouTube and the internet, public speaking skill and skill crafting the right message for the audience is important I am learning.
When I write a talk, I look to others who are more eloquent than I. Lincoln spoke about the opening of a cemetery. That’s a tough subject to write a talk for. In 1863, during the depths of despair at being a country at war with itself, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, were looking for solace. They came to escape for a moment as they looked for hope, for healing, for kindness, for a way out of their individual and collective grief. And so he wrote for them and for himself. He wrote to heal his heart and their souls. Who can know what the human heart will feel? If lucky, a writer knows their own heart, and connects with the audience, heart to heart first.
In my heart I have a message, yes one of hope, one born of struggle. It’s a travel story, and if done right people love stories.
It was a long trip starting at 3am in Fairbanks. We landed in Seattle on September 10th at 10am in the morning. The Alaskan cruise liners dump thousands of tourists at the Seattle airport daily. Over a thousand people were on the security line at the Southwest Airlines terminal. I got all the exercise I needed finding the end of the line. But I got home. The next day was Tuesday, September 11. Many of my colleagues did not get home for days.
We all have travel stories. Humans have traveled across the globe since we started walking upright. It is part of our evolutionary journey. It is one of the things we all have in common. We travel to be with each other, to learn, to explore and to relocate. When we travel we go in groups and we always bring and buy stuff. It may be gifts, food, clothing, cars or houses. While researching human transportation I discovered interesting relationships.
Humans have evolved only 5 major transportation industries in the 3.3 million years we have been on earth; ground, sea, rail, air and space. Space transportation is the last of the major transportation industries to evolve. Humans own over 1 billion cars, took 19 million cruises and flew over 32 million trips on 1,000 airlines last year. Over 29 million passengers traveled by rail last year. Know how many humans have been to space in the last fifty one years? 517.
Humans are not in the transaction loop in the space transportation industry yet. The transaction between supplier and consumer does not exist yet. That will change first in New Mexico. The first spaceline transporting humans will be operated thirty miles from here. When humans are involved in the space transportation they will create demand. They will bring others, they will explore, they will create demand for services. We humans always do. I have a message to deliver; we have a human transportation industry growing in New Mexico. Humans travel, it is what we do. Space travel for humans. New Mexico First.