Saturday, September 8, 2007

Don't Rain On My Parade!!

Don't Rain On My Parade!!

DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE !! Like a great speech all Parades must have a Beginning, Middle and End! While I was watching the Wakefield "Forth of July Parade" that my daughter's 4-H Float was in I began comparing the parade to writing and delivering a speech. I was realizing how important it is to have a beginning, a middle and an end and following through (!).


The Forth of July Parade DID deliver a great beginning!! - The police cars lead the way with their flashing blue lights, followed by the large, red fire trucks with their loud sirens from MANY surrounding north shore towns and cities, the middle aged town selectman waving and smiling to the crowd as they were praying for more votes and of course the grand marshals gallopping by while riding on their gorgeous clydesdale horses.


The Forth of July Parade did deliver a great body!! As the parade progresses and you have your body - your content - the bands, the floats, the entertainment, the politicians, (looking for more votes), the local businesses and their banners, the neighoring towns local sports teams, the militrary heros, the clowns performing their tricks and any other interested parties who enjoy marching down MAIN STREET even in the rain (yes - it really did rain for brief periods of time)!


The Forth of July Parade did not deliver a great ending! The parade is getting ready to wrap up but it needs to go out the way it began with a BANG. The conclusion - your ending - with some surprises - I have to admit I laughed and I clapped when I saw Rex Trailer on a horse - he was my "Performance of Television" Instructor at Emerson College, Boston - Wow that really brought back memories.

But the parade was not yet over - it did fall short. It left me wanting more - because it did NOT follow through with the ending . Some of the parade acts just stopped short of their conclusions!! Once they reached the "judges table", which was about fifty feet from the real ending of the parade route on Main Street they simply "dropped it like it's hot" !

Image watching an Olympic Skater who jumped but did not extend her arms to complete the move? Someone should have told those parade performers that the parade is not over until it passes by the "entire" audience on Main Street.

For some reason - not known to me or other spectators (audience members), the performers were only interested in ending and concluding their entertainment for the judges - once they passed the judges - they took off their shirts, got out of formation, and broke off into discussion groups - it was as if the people AFTER the judges did not exist.

Since I was seated AFTER the judges table - I thought about it and I asked myself - if I too ever "RAINED ON SOMEONES PARADE" after I gave a speech and simply did not follow through?

Now I can clearly see that it is important to stay in character when I give a speech even after I pass the "judges table" - I will continue to march down MAIN STREET and make sure that all of my audience members count - not just the ones BEFORE the judges table but even the ones AFTER - because they too are "judging me" and I want to make sure that I "FOLLOW THROUGH" with a "BEGINNING", "MIDDLE", and "END" !

I do not want any one saying to me -"DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE" !!

Respectfully Submitted Sherri Raftery, M. Ed.

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