Storytelling

A Dog’s Life

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.

The speech was far more interesting when delivered live with the slide show than it is being read, but it ain’t bad. I’ve definitely written worse, and you may have read it. Well, probably not.