Yesterday, I had plans to only complete one speech, the first speech in my Toastmasters manual, Warm Up the Audience from the advanced communication manual Humorously Speaking, but then a member of my weekly lunchtime club at my company asked if I’d be willing to do a speech their as well as long as I adjusted to meet the requirements of another project. I looked at the second speech in the manual and the only difference was I needed to add a humorous story to the end of my speech. The first project only required you to have one at the beginning. I thought this was possible so I agreed.
The night before yesterday’s meeting I was up until almost one in the morning trying to practice because two small children and a full-time job doesn’t leave much time to practice during the day. I almost thought about backing out because I didn’t think I prepared enough but I decided to hammer out a few late practice sessions and commit to completing this speech tomorrow. t think what I need to start trying to do during the week is spend one lunch hour a week in a conference room and practicing my speech. A place where I could actually record it, speak in a normal voice, and have a good hour to rehearse. I think I’m going to try to spend one day, maybe Tuesday trying this practice.
At Dawn Patrol, the evaluator said I gave my best speech to date in the club and I feel like he’s right. It felt good and though I could have done a few things better like sticking with my eye contact, moving from one side of the room to another, and dropping the -ing off the ends of my words, which is something I never noticed I did. I didn’t use a ton of crutch words at least the grammarian didn’t point them out and I was only fifteen seconds over my five to seven minute time constraints.
My second speech during lunch had the good parts of the first speech but it started get some cracks because I tried to include a humorous story at the end of my speech while also trying to shorten the speech. I tried during this without any chance to practice it. I think the actually presentation went well as far as telling my story but included a number of crutch words like so, and, you know, plus some sounds like ah.
Even with those crutch words, I still think the second speech was a success. Before today, I hadn’t given a speech since June. Today, I was able to give today and one without much practice. I kicked off my goal of trying to give a speech every week in both of my Toastmasters clubs and I have a speech lined up for next week, Evaluate to Motivate.
Now, I need to go practice.