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.

I Want To Write Like Hemingway 

I spent last week while I was on vacation reading Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” which I wrote about yesterday.  The thing I love about this book and the way Ernest Hemingway writes is the simplicity of the entire book.  It’s not filled with large words so you need a dictionary to read it.  It’s not filled with crazy long sentences filled with different forms of punctuation.

It’s so simple, yet powerful.  There isn’t much clutter and he says exactly what’s needed to be said.  That’s the goal of this writing practice.  I want to improve and simplify my writing.  I want to write the way I actually talk and not try to sound smarter than I am.  I don’t want to fill my writing with words I’d never use in a typical conversation.

I’m not there yet and I might not get there for a number of years but it’s why I keep writing everyday. I’m not Hemingway and I don’t want to be him.  I’m trying to find my own voice.  Hopefully, I’ll find a simple and clean style to let me voice show through my writing.  One day at a time.

Bookbinge: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

During my week at the beach, I decided to reads classic book, I’ve put off reading for some time, that’s about the ocean. Last week, I decided to read, “The Old Man and the Sea,” by Ernest Hemingway, which is the book that’s give as the example to why he won the Noble Prize in literature. 

While I was in my senior year of high school, I was given the choice to complete my senior project on any of the following books:

  • The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • The Old Man and the Sea.

There was one other book but I can’t remember. I was thinking about this list a few weeks ago because, at the time, I thought all theses books sounds awful. I ended up picking Frankenstein because I watched the movie before. Luckily, I was told that the movie did not match the book. 

It’s funny to think about my thoughts for these books because I ended up reading all of them and I enjoy all them. 

The Old Man and the sea didn’t disappoint. 

Now I’m on to the next one.