15 minutes. Jesus.
15 minutes is … well, it depends on delivery. Most people speak 120-150 words per minute. Which is what … like, 1800-2250 words? I should probably aim for the slow/low end of things, but you know … nerves.
Shit. Okay … well. I wrote a 15-minute speech a couple of months ago, and that took me … um … what … a day-and-a-half? Yeah. Got the call Tuesday night, started Wednesday morning, delivered by Thursday noon. So realistically it was about 10 hours? Then I did one last week — that ran longer but they also gave me more to work with. Either way, I should budget at least 10 hours for writing, plus another five or so for research.
Wait a second — do we even know what the topic is? Five hours is not going to cut it unless I’m talking about something I already have some understanding of, and even then, I’m totally out of my depth on most stuff anyway. I’m a woman; I don’t think I can knowledgeably talk about feminism for 15 minutes. Well, depends on the audience. Do we know who the audience is?
Yes, I know it’s “the whole world,” but only half of us are awake at any given time. Oh Lord … they know I can only speak English, right? I don’t care if there is simultaneous interpretation but I don’t want to make a culturally inappropriate joke.
What do you mean, “I shouldn’t tell jokes?” 15 minutes is a long time to go without a laugh. Have you ever seen those graphs of presidential speeches? Talk, laugh, clap, talk, talk, laugh … there’s like a whole frickin’ science to it. Okay, okay, I can do it straight. I’m telling you, though, if CNN airs this and there’s a panel and they give them those dially-knob things, they’re going to flatline three minutes in. For the record.
Listen: I can write this. I can do it. And I can deliver it. This isn’t completely foreign territory, it’s just been awhile. I just need a little more information about the topic, the audience, formats, some basic stuff. And deadline. I have to build out a production schedule, so I need to know when this is going to go to air.
I’m sorry … can you repeat that?
So when you said “I have 15 minutes to address the whole world,” you didn’t mean that I have to talk for 15 minutes, like, next week, you meant that I have 15 minutes to prep, like, right now.
15 minutes. Jesus.
This post brought to you by my ceaseless inner monologue, and today’s daily prompt, fifteen minutes.