Day 664: Who are these people?

In a few hours, I shall be making a presentation to a room-full of people, about a method  of group therapy I conduct, four times every week, at my place of employment.

I could be asking — myself and the universe — lots of questions about this imminent presentation, including:

  • How am I going to perfectly translate all my knowledge and experience of group therapy into a neat, comprehensive, and engaging 70-minute package?
  • How am I going to make “small talk” during the “breakfast” portion of this “breakfast club” event, prior to my presentation? Won’t I be too nervous?  Won’t chatting with people, that way, feel inauthentic?
  • How can I surreptitiously check my teeth after eating all sorts of food that will indubitably include green, red, and other colorful objects,  to make sure that there’s nothing obvious stuck there, to distract my audience?
  • If I screw this up completely, what will the consequences be?

Actually, it helped me to ask that last question, because I can see that the answer is:

No lasting consequences that I can identify, at all.

However, the main question I wanted to ask in today’s blog is … surprise!  …  the title of this post.

Who are these people?

This is a question I’ve asked before, when I’m:

  • stuck in a long line at the grocery store,
  • not moving because of lots of traffic,
  • observing a crowd of people gathering, for a reason I can’t immediately identify, and
  • other situations that I can’t remember, right now (but that’s okay).

Today, that question mainly refers to:

Who are these people I am going to see in less than 2.5 hours?   Who are these people who made the decision, the effort, and the monetary commitment to sign up to hear me speak today?

Since I do not know who they are, at this writing, I am perfectly capable of projecting all sorts of fears, assumptions, and worries onto them.

Actually, this is not entirely true. I DO know some of the people who will be there today, including Maxine, who reads this blog (I think) and who did a kick-ass presentation of her own, last year. And I know some of the organizers for the event, including Marc, who sent me this email yesterday:


One more short day till game time, if you would like me to add to this introduction please let me know. Personally I like it as it stands

See you in the morning,


… and directly below that was the response I had sent, weeks ago, to Marc’s request for a “bio,” to help him prepare for his introduction of me this morning.

How about this as a bio, Mark?

This is Ann Koplow.

She knows what she’s talking about.

Listen to her.

I’ll work on a better bio, soon.

Thank you, very much.


Here’s what I notice, now, about that email I had sent Marc (which I completely forgot about until yesterday):

  1. I misspelled both his name and my name.
  2. That’s a pretty good introduction.

So, I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for my presentation today.  But, to complete this blog post, I want to show you some photos I’ve taken recently. It’s up to you to decide whether these images fit today’s topic.

IMG_1326 IMG_1330   IMG_1349 IMG_1358 IMG_1365 IMG_1376 IMG_1378 IMG_1379 IMG_1382 IMG_1383 IMG_1388

Before I end this post,  I also want to include two songs that answer the question — “Who Are These People?” — very differently. That is, they reflect how I see people when I feel (1) unsafe and (2) safe.

(“People are Strange” by The Doors found here on YouTube)

(“Shower the People” by James Taylor found here on YouTube)

Thanks to all the people who showed up in this post. I know who they are and I’m grateful I do. I’m also grateful I could shower you with my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Day 664: Who are these people?

  1. Well, now I want to know what your presentation will contain, how it went, and, well, who these people indeed were?

  2. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Frieda Kahlo is the first picture. My father was a Kahloite in Mexico in the late 40’s early 50’s.

  3. Damned if I know who the people are, Annn. — Marc

    You’ll do great. Everybody will be listening to you closely because they’ll be told to in the wonderfully succinct, and correct, intro!

    • Hi, Marc/k. I know who you are. I’ll let you know if Marc adds anything to the intro. (I did send him some other choice things to say).

  4. Hi Anne, I’m looking forward to seeing you and hearing your presentatiin this morning!

    Showering you with love,

  5. Break a leg, Ann (or Annn). Not literally. You know what I mean.

    • I know what you mean, Emilie. Who are these people who say, “Break a leg” before a performance? Oh, wait … that includes me! Thanks for the good wishes.

  6. You’ll do fine. I teach public speaking, and one of the first rules is “Know your audience.” For the future, you can scout out who these people are and what they need to hear before writing your talk. In a speech, one talks at people; in a talk, one talks to people. Break a leg.

  7. people are strange!
    i love it 🙂

  8. What you did today is the thing that makes me most anxious, so I will just applaud from the sidelines.

  9. kellie@writingmoment

    You have probably successfully finished your presentation by now but if not, good luck!

  10. Yeah!!! Sleep well 🙂 I look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.
    Val x

    • Val! I know who you are and that’s why I’m always so delighted to see you here. I expect I shall sleep well, and I look forward to more Val-uable encounters.

  11. Of course, you could always picture your audience naked. 🙂 good luck.

  12. This is such a wonderful post. You capture so perfectly what it feels like just ahead of doing something big, wonderful and scary. I’m so glad that it went well. (And had no doubts that it would.)

  13. And a follow-up question: Did the chatty part ahead of the talk go more easily than you thought it would? Did you avoid food with colours and stick to the porridge?

    • The chatty part was easier than I expected, and I did specifically choose non-colorful food. It was easy to stick to that, because I wasn’t particularly hungry. In addition, I asked Maxine (appearing in this post and in the comments here) to be my food-in-tooth spotter. Thank you for these excellent follow-up questions, which allow me to brag about how smart I am.

  14. Pingback: Day 672: Care | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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