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.