How Moms Are Not Only the Queens of Comedy but Also Improv

I got asked to lead a round-table discussion for the Boulder Chamber’s PR & Social Media Event on Friday. There were some local social media rock stars who presented including Andrew Hyde of TechStars, Ari Newman of FiltrBox and Mile High Mama Holly Hamann from The Blog Frog.

And then there was me.

Though I did shower for the occasion, which should count for something.

My topic was “How to pitch a blogger,” with the intent to teach businesses and publicists how to approach bloggers for potential coverage. I was asked to present in two different sessions and was under the impression that I was supposed to speak on, well, how to pitch a blogger.

Until my first panel began.

I had everyone go around and tell me what they hoped to get out of my class. Here’s a little hint: their responses were not about pitching bloggers. Most of them wanted to know how to start a blog for their business and to learn the basics of social media.

I did not prepare a 50-minute class on how to start a blog or the basics of social media.

Nor did I bother to bring my laptop because I had prepared some nifty handouts of some great pitches I had received from various publicists. Because, if you will remember, that is what I was asked to speak about.

So, what did I do?

1) I sweated.
2) I swiped borrowed someone’s laptop during both sessions.
3) I improvised my entire presentation during the first presentation.
4) I thanked the good Lord that I am a mom.

In the past, I may have not been so quick on my feet but motherhood has prepared me to roll with the punches and adapt to every new situation.

Some examples:

I believed that my children would never be *those* kids who throw public tantrums. I was wrong. Improvisation: I pretend not to know them when this happens.

I assumed that bath time was instituted to clean the children. I never dreamed they would ever defecate in that very cleansing bathwater. Improvisation: I have my husband hose them off in the shower while I pretend not to know them.

When I had children, I thought I would someday get some sleep. I was wrong. Improvisation: I do not sleep, all the while pretending I do not know them.

My validation that I had pulled off my little improv routine was at the end of the event when the organizers thanked each of the presenters. The people at my table clapped and hollered louder for me than anyone else. Of course, they may have only seemed louder because they were sitting next to me and were yelling directly into my ear.

Just to be safe if I am ever asked to present again, I will be sure to bring a plan and a back-up plan.

And a Zoloft or two to dissipate any improvisation-induced ulcers.

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