where the writers are
A Steady Heartbeat

I was six years old when I started school.  Rural Oklahoma in 1960 didn't have preschool or kindergarten.  And though I ached to go to school on the day I turned six, it was not to be.  When I finally got to go, I was thrilled. I quickly learned to read, even with the proper inflections.  My first grade teacher, Mrs. Berry, was so impressed, she volunteered me to read before the entire fifth grade class. 

I wasn't afraid, standing there in front of the classroom with an open book in my hand. I don't remember what it was that I was reading, but I do remember breezing through the story.  I read better than most of the kids in the room, and I knew it.

Giving speeches when I grew older proved to be no problem either. I suppose it was because I was used to an audience. After all, I started singing solo in church when I was five.  I continued singing, joined a group, and sang for many services around the country. 

Public speaking requires preparedness, a thorough knowledge of the subject matter, and a steady heartbeat. The later being the most difficult to attain.