Folk Tale Speech and Butterfly

Last night was another one of those 'close calls' for speeches. It was already 4pm when I managed to get my speech altogether. Ugh. This has got to stop. Fact is, last Wednesday I almost forgot that the Toastmasters meeting at Henlin/Tomato and Cheese would be the following day. Since I rattled at the thought, DH was rather amused that I DID forget.

Now here's the worst part about late prepared speeches. I can't get the groove of the gestures and body movement. I suppose getting the material in my head in so short a time is already bad. Twice in a row, it was a sore spot in my evaluation - not enough body movement. Though small, I gotta use the floor space more! Another thing is sudden shifting of the head from left to right. Unfortunately I can't help it. The seating configuration is such that you have audience 90 degrees to your left and right. I feel like I'm missing out on eye contact if I don't constantly shift my glances. Next time, I'll take a pic of how we're seated at our venue. One tip though is to pan the head SLOWLY. I'll try that next time.

The props I used (reversible beak of the crow) was rather nifty and it piqued the audience interest. At first I thought I'd be risking it but, heck, it's storytelling and so I went on with the puppet props and with my bird voices, it brought variety to the speech.

I must say the use of a mini-puppet was a risk on my part. Why? Simply because I've not seen anyone do it. Let's just say I wanted to add a little fun on the delivery side and put a little smile (or is that a smirk?) on my audience. Anyhow, I got the idea from a game that the kids play especially Sandra where they'd have an eenie-meenie-mynee-moh on a numbers game written on folded paper. The closing and opening looked like a bird's beak and so I had Sandra fold one for me. It turns out that the "beak" folded paper I wanted used the same folding for making these newspaper hats or boats. With just another fold, it becomes a bird puppet! The nice thing about this puppet is it can become reversible. And it worked wonderfully for the transition when the crow turned from white to black because of the curse. Yah, you gotta read the speech to make sense of what I'm writing here. Anyway, the bird on the left was the white crow and with the flick of the hand, the white crow on the left in Noah's time becomes the black crow on the right as we know it today. Ingenious, isn't it?

I also need to be earlier prepared coz I miss out on conversations before the meeting starts. I wasn't relaxed enough coz I sat or stood in a corner to read/ memorize the speech. The nice thing though is the audience seemed to enjoy my speech entitled "Noah's Bird". This is Advanced Speech #1, Folk Tale, in the Storytelling Manual. I thought my delivery of it though was a bit lacking. Next time!

See all my Toastmasters Speeches online here!

Just on a whim, I tried to do butterfly strokes today. They were crude I know but it's really just my first time. The AMAZING thing is: I had lots of stamina for it. It isn't the "die-as-you-swim" stroke that I thought it would be! I did laps on the 12.5m width of the pool. Funny, I'm not even feeling pain in my back or knees at all. Hhmmm... I'm getting gung-ho to learning it even though I was avoiding it all this time. Maybe the time is ripe - stamina, experience, maturity and all. I'm excited to revisit and relearn this once again. And this time, it's gonna be permanent.

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