Pete breaks the ice...

Entry #1476, Wed, June 06, 2007, 00:04 CEST (Life in General)
(posted when I was 28 years old.)

I gave my first prepared speech at my Toastmasters club today. The speech was supposed to be an "Icebreaker," in which I introduce myself to the club somehow. I titled mine "In Pursuit of Absurdity."

The speech was supposed to run 4-6 minutes. Mine ran 5:54. I thought I had gotten the pacing down well while practicing, but the timekeeper thought I was supposed to go for the 5-7 minutes that are standard for most Toastmaster speeches. So the four-minute notice I was waiting for came at five minutes instead. So I made up some filler at the end, fearing I would wind up short. As it turned out, my timing was right all along.

But beyond that, I was quite happy with how I did. I got some good laughs out of the crowd and generally felt good. My knees were shaking a little bit, though not as bad as when I sang Karaoke. And the feedback I got was quite positive.

The consensus among the feedback forms I got was as follows. Positives: confident; well-prepared; funny; clear & strong voice; no use of notes; well-structured speech; good pronunciation. Negatives: lack of eye contact; standing still in one spot.

I feel especially good about the positive feedback because much of it was repeated. I know I am capable of speaking clearly and strongly when I try, I just tend to forget most of the time. So by nature I'm more of a mumbler. It feels really good to know I spoke well tonight.

Sadly it looks like I'm going to miss the next two meetings. But I think this club is going to work out pretty well for me.

I may or may not write the speech down. But right now it is sleepy time.


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