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.

Advertisements

Valedictory Speech

I’m proud to have been chosen as the Valedictorian of our class in elementary and high school, but the feeling of receiving the award is not greater than the feeling and excitement when delivering the valedictory speech. It’s not because I want to show off my public speaking skills or to prove that I am worthy of being the valedictorian, but because of the message I want to say to my fellow graduates and to everyone in attendance. I want to make all of them happy by letting them realize about several things why such a momentous day is more than just celebrating the accomplishment of finishing 6 years or 4 years of studies.

My first valedictory speech was made by Uncle John, the husband of Tita Gina who is my mother’s sister. Uncle John is a British who worked as a microbiologist before. I delivered the speech beside the podium because I was too small then. Our graduation was held in a gym, which was jam-packed with parents and relatives of the graduates. I memorized and delivered the speech without a copy.

For my second valedictory speech, I made it on my own. It was longer than the first one but I still memorized and delivered it without looking at a copy, though I printed one and put it in a folder just in case I get a mental block. Our high school graduation was held in our town’s cathedral. To this date, that speech stands to be the best that I have delivered in my life.