I gave a speech yesterday for Toastmasters. This was one of the few times that I prepared well in advance but, ironically, I did not pay close enough attention to the actual assignment. I have posted the text of the original speech in my articles. However, only those in attendance can know the actual speech delivered because I rewrote it in my head an hour before the meeting. Granted it’s not like Kennedy’s inaugural address; it’s probably closer to Bush’s “Hey, did you hear about the funny-looking potato?” speech.
The speech went well. It was heavy with photographs, more like a slide show with an accompanying monologue. I spent more time finding the correct photos than I did writing the speech. I can’t include 99 percent of those photos because I borrowed them from the internet.
I actually do fairly well with extemporaneous speaking. The reason I joined Toastmasters was to get better at prepared speaking. What I’ve learned is to educate myself about a topic, come up with an opening and an ending, and then stand up and speak. That’s what works for me with public speaking. In order to relax, I imagine that everyone in the audience is wearing funny-nose glasses; I used to picture them naked, but I’ve spent too much time in the men’s locker room of the YMCA, and those images are too painful; they can keep their clothes on.