Monday, March 30, 2009

Joining Speech Contests

Last Saturday I participated in the division international speech and table topics contest. I did not have a lot of time to prepare my speech. The first speaker was very young about 21 years old and he was good. I think I was a bit intimidated and I felt the pressure because he was very well prepared. I was the second speaker and my knees where shaking badly that I kicked the podium. But I did not falter and I was able to recover. The audience laughed at my jokes and I think I was able to connect with them. But I felt that I will never be a great public speaker.I still felt uncomfortable but I just managed to plunge along. I completed the speech and felt that my speech was appreciated for it's content and humor. I thought that the other speakers where well prepared but their topic and manner were not audience friendly so there was limited connection except for a few moments.

The next event was table topics and I was the last contestant. I felt more comfortable and I stood in front of the audience away from the podium. I added some humour and the audience laughed at my jokes. I think I am more the spontaneous type of speaker although I need to prepare a written speech so I won't get lost. I guess I need to strike a balance from being an off-the-cuff speaker to someone who prepares well in advance, who practices the moves and memorizes the speech. But I think I am getting better despite being tense and uncomfortable. The next day on Sunday, I was a speech evaluator and I felt confident. My speech was short but I felt more organized and logical. I realized I should not rush and say the things I want to say but find the place where I can place these remarks in the proper sequence for better logic, organization and effect.

Strangely I did not feel refreshed after the speeches I gave. Maybe I felt that I did not get my usual satisfaction. After being in Toastmaster for nearly 3 years I still lack the confidence which the other good speakers have. But actually talking with the other contestants, I found that they are members for 15 to 20 years. So I still have a long way to go. My expectation is very high. I guess I do not have a lot of time to prepare my speeches and I am usually cramming my activities. But it was a good weekend because I visited the Peranakan museum to see the Buddhist sculptures from Shandong-China, had my tonometry examination, applied for international drivers permit and attended Toastmaster. Last Sunday afternoon, we visited the church of st.Mary of the Angels. A modern church that has achieved a lot of awards. After the mass, we had ajisen ramen noodles in Hougang mall.

Last weekend I also watched 'Slumdog Millionaire'. It's a great movie and deserves the best picture award. I liked it very much. I still have a lot of things to watch and time is running out. There is still too many things to do and I have a load of work to complete. Two weeks left to go before my departure. Walking in the park during the weekend for my exercise, I felt different like the sensations of a person who will never see the place again, like seeing it for the first time.The lake, the trees and people walking about. When I went to the Toastmaster on Sunday morning, I walked to Kovan food center and I wondered who are all these people. I felt that I was detached and alienated. It's like I did not belong. It was like the world was moving along and I was no longer an active participant but a traveller. I guess it's a feeling you get before you leave to settle in another place.

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