When I signed up for electives in college, I thought about which communications courses might help me get a job.
I focused most of my efforts on journalism and public relations courses, and I skipped out on fields such as event planning and public speaking.
Thankfully for me, my job doesn't require knowledge in either field. My personal life now does, though.
I'm the best man in my brother's upcoming wedding. That means a couple of things: I have to plan his stag party, and I have to deliver the toast.
The stag party planning might've gone a little better with some formal training, but I think I've done OK with some help from family and friends.
The toast is a different story.
I hadn't put too much thought into it until recently.
I had planned to stand up in front of everyone at the wedding reception and "wing it," meaning I was going to improvise.
I've been informed by many people that that's not such a good idea.
Who knew? Call me a rookie best man, I guess.
The same people who told me I should write a speech and read from it have told me they think I'll do a great job. I'm a writer after all.
They've missed an important detail, though.
Like most writers, I chose to go into this field because I'm a shy, awkward person. I don't like standing up in front of people.
I'm not exactly well spoken. Those people are on the radio, and if they're good looking, they're on TV.
Once I've decided what I need to say, I'll write it up and prepare to read from a sheet of paper. Apparently that's the best way to go, so I'm told.
Regardless of how the toast or stag party go, I blame the recession for the anxiety that planning them has caused me.
In better economic times, maybe I would've taken a few more life-skills classes, rather than focusing on just those that writers need to land jobs.