Speech of the Week: Read Out Loud

This week speech is based on a Toastmasters’ Advanced Manual: Specialty Speeches.  It’s the fourth project in the manual, Read Out Load.  The speech is meant to be 12 – 15 minutes that includes a short introduction and then reading a story out loud to the audience while incorporating proper vocal variety and body movement.


Hemingway is one of my favorite authors because I love his simple style and how he’s able to tell  deep, meaningful stories about human emotions and life without the need of complex techniques.  I’ve read a number of his most popular books: A Farewell to Arms, Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Sun Also Rises. Ron Charles, Washington Post’s book editor, has said the Hemingway’s short stories are better than his novels.  The only Hemingway short story I’ve read was in a college literature course, “Hills Like White Elephants,” which is a cryptic conversation between a man and a women.

Today, I’ll be reading another Hemingway short story, “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” which is about two waiters preparing for the end of the evening.

This story takes place in a Spanish-speaking community. I would assume Spain giving Hemingway’s history and other writing about the country, but I couldn’t find any source to confirm my assumption.  If you don’t have any background in Spanish here are the definitions of the Spanish words used in the short story:

Nada = nothing

Pues = then, well

Bodega = a grocery store that sells wine

Otro loco mas = another crazy person

Click on the link to read a free copy of, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway.


I discovered this short story from this Huffington Post article: These Classic Stories Are So Short, You Have No Excuse Not To Read Them. There are eleven other short stories listed in the previously mentioned article.  All of them will take you less than ten minutes to read.  I’m planning to read all of them in the coming week.