First Speech Complete

I was able to present my first project from the Advanced Storytelling Manual at the New Dimension Toastmaster Club meeting on Sat. Oct. 17.  This was Project #1, The Folk Tale.  While I had done my research and begun my preparation for this delivery several weeks earlier, I actually had not had the time to practice until 6:00 am on the morning of the meeting. I mentioned that I was able to give a speech at the meeting if it could be fit in and, lucky for me my fellow club members were able to accommodate. Below is my debrief:

What went well:

  • Presented the story on short notice with minimal preparation.
  • Had a introduction prepared for chairperson (which I had prepared  during breakfast).
  • Extemporaneous delivery with no use of notes.
  • Fulfilled objectives of the project (to tell a folk tale that is entertaining and enjoyable for a specific age group and to use vivid imagery and voice to enhance the tale in 7 to 9 min.)
  • Characterized story characterized through facial expressions and distinct vocal variety.
  • Effective use of vocal variety, especially with regard to changing the tempo
  • Used cultural pop references and references to prior meeting items to add humor and interest.
  • Began by jumping right into the story without a salutation to grab attention.
  • The discovery of the elves was vivid and noted most effective by the evaluator.
  • Evaluation afterwards by a designated evaluator then opened up to all audience members.

What was tricky:

  • Small audience – always difficult to generate energy and often seems awkward.
  • Slightly over time at 9:35 on a 7-9 min project.
  • Added a post story conclusion to explain the origin of the story and why I choose the story; however, the  audience felt this post-story analysis felt out of place.
  • Started with the filler word, “So”
  • I slipped up by saying “As soon as the customer left, the Shoemaker went to the market to buy new shoes.”  Where as I meant to say, “As soon as the customer left, the Shoemaker went to the market to buy more leather for new shoes.” 
  • Chairperson did not narrate my prepared introduction verbatim as I expected.

What will I do differently:

  • Have a conversation with Chairperson to clarify if the submitted introduction is to be verbatim or if it is a guideline.
  • Include the personal reflection piece to the Chairperson either as part of the introduction or as a prologue to be communicated afterwards.  This would enable me to solely deliver the story and able to end on a climatic note and allow the analysis to come from another source which may be more effective.
  • Greater practice prior to the meeting in the event I may present a project.
  • Video record the project to serve as a documented archive and to facilitate my development via self-evaluation.  Might also be interesting to post to You Tube and to have others remotely evaluate.
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