I’ve just completed my fifth Toastmasters speech. It feels good to be halfway through my Competent Communicator manual. I need to keep up the momentum if I am to achieve my new year’s resolution of completing the manual. The objective of this speech project was “body language”. I chose martial arts as the topic as it provided so much scope to explore the objective in an interesting direction.
By the time it was my turn to speak I was pumped with adrenaline. It was the first time in a while that I have felt myself shaking while onstage. During the speech I raised my arm and held it still. When I looked at my fingers I could see them quivering. I was going to keep it raised for much longer, but I was too scared the audience would see the shaking. Watching the video it really isn’t noticable. This remind’s me of Craig Valentine’s observation that any problem you have on stage is magnified ten times in your own mind, and chances are the audience won’t even notice.
I forgot a joke close to the beginning, and I had an unintentionally long pause towards the end. But overall the audience seemed to enjoy themselves and the feedback was positive. It goes to show that audiences is willing to forgive occasional errors, as long as the overall content and structure are sound.
The most common recomendation I received was that the ending was too abrupt. I completely agree. Usually I like to end my speeches by summarising the message of the speech. Unfortunately the “message” was very weak, having been completely contrived to allow me to do the crane from the Karatie Kid. If I had to rewrite the ending I would proably try and make it more applicable to the audience by throwing in the word “you” and asking a rhetorical question. Don’t you think that would be a good idea?