A combined total of 18 speeches.
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.
Two CCs and one ACB.