Speech Marathon

Three guys.

A combined total of 18 speeches.

5 days.

At the beginning, I was so enthusiastic with the invitation to join the speech marathon. After the first day of the marathon, I realized it was so tough. It’s even tougher than my debating days in college.

I got nerve-wracking headaches, astigmatism and stress beyond imaginable explanation. There’s no doubt that these are also caused by the work that I have to do and a new hire to guide. My brain was crying to the point that I can feel my whole body breaking down. Nonetheless, the difficulty of thinking about a topic to speak about was the main culprit.

I persisted. I struggled. I never wrote a complete speech. I found myself getting lost during my delivery and almost spoke without writing an outline. It felt like a nightmare. I had no practice. The evaluations showed my unpreparedness. No emotions. No vocal variety. More purposeful gestures. It was disheartening.

As the marathon went on, I was able to improve myself without realizing it. Heck, I had no time to think about how I can improve based on the feedbacks. But the evaluators didn’t miss my small improvements. Vocal variety was appreciated. Gestures were purposeful. Three of the six speeches I delivered were commended so well.

After my last speech, I felt so happy and relieved. Happy because of having done something crazy. Relieved because my brain will finally be able to rest.

Right now I am cherishing this triumph. A triumph over my past self, who already gave up on his goal of becoming a Toastmasters Competent Communicator because time was running out.

The feeling of being able to survive like my life was on the line is not something that happens all the time. That’s why I will never ever forget this day. What makes it more special is that I wasn’t alone in the quest. And it is a priviledge to complete such feat with two impressive speakers that I look up to.

Three guys.

18 speeches

Two CCs and one ACB.

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Miracle Crunch Times

Miracles do happen. The moment something wonderful happened that you certainly believed was impossible or unexplainable to happen, that is definitely a miracle. We all have experienced this one way or another. I have my fair share of miracles too. Often times it happens during the most crucial moments. Crunch time as it is called.

One particular crunch time that I will never forget is our thesis implementation defense. The memory of having to rewrite our thesis topic one semester earlier of that previous year was still fresh. Those 3 days were a nightmare but nothing would ever prepare me for the longest 1 hour of my college life.

It was 1 hour and 30 minutes before our scheduled defense when things got into trouble. I was coding some missing functionality of our application when suddenly even the basic one that was already finished wasn’t working anymore. 30 minutes into it and still nothing’s happening. With a big sigh, I told my thesismates to change into formal attire while I finish things up. When they got back I asked them to test it while I change my clothes. Fortunately, everything’s working back again, which even caught me by surprise. The defense was smooth and the verdict was just a minor revision of the documentation. I finished the whole application a few days after and we were on our way to graduation.

It was the scariest time of my college life but at the same time it’s also the most miraculous time in all my school days.