Back on Track

I have broken the golden blogger rule with the irregularity of my postings, bad Greg. Regardless, I would like to get back on track documenting my progress towards my Advanced Toastmaster Gold designation.

In May, I posted I was working on a Project #4 (“The Touching Story”) from the Storytelling Advanced Manual. In June I was able to tel this story to the New Dimension Toastmaster Club.

I felt the presentation went well. I was well prepared and I used a poster of the painting, The Raft of the Medusa, as a prop to help convey the power of this visual that inspired me to write this speech.

Raft of the Medusa

I tried to invoke emotion in three ways: first by telling the story of how my son and I stumbled across the painting and were moved by both its visual presence and the backstory behind it. Secondly, I gave a glimpse into the painter’s challenge in creating his masterpiece and his obsession for his work. Finally, I wanted to share with others the historical tragedy that inspired this great painting.

My audience told me that they enjoyed my enthusiasm and my preparation and the level of description I used to tell the story. They also said I had all the basic elements of story telling of setting, characters, plot, conflict, and action. One of my evaluators mentioned that perhaps my story was too complex for the allotted time and I agree. Trying to weave 3 stories into one in a 6-8 minute speech was daunting and narrowing the scope of my stories will be something I will pay future attention too.

I also will try to use more dialogue, which I didn’t at first think this story lent itself to since it was partially historical. However, I now see that even vocalizing the thoughts of characters adds vocal variety and texture to a story.

See a video of one of my practice sessions here: and let me know what you think.

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