My ACB Graduation at Toastmasters

Tonight I was overjoyed as I received my Advanced Communicator Bronze Award in Toastmasters. Firstly because I've been anticipating the TM pin for sometime now.

Secondly, I was so excited (not nervous) to deliver my graduation speech. This is Advanced Speech #5 from the Storytelling Manual - Bringing History to Life.

The title of my speech is "A Painting on a Plate". Why was I excited? Well, I've researched a lot for this speech project.

That included finding out the works of Juan Luna, his biography and the details surrounding the controversial Juan Luna painting bought by GSIS. I learned so much about the man.

But my biggest challenge was weaving my fictional Dinner story with the entire Juan Luna backdrop (paintings, exposition, awards). The way I've heard the story before was very simple and straightforward in a dinner setting.

For this speech project though, I had to put some embellishments to make the story so believable. These are the small details that I thought of to make the story interesting and blend logically with the background historical setting.

These included details like:

  • Big studio bag to conceal the painting he did on the plate.
  • His leaving a business card to show he was no "balasubas" and that he intended to pay.
  • The JLUNA signature below the painting.
  • The snobbish attitude of the Spanish waiter.
  • Research on the Spanish phrases used in the dialogue.

Another challenge was segueing the Juan Luna story with GSIS controversy which I used as introduction AND THEN relating it back to the controversy towards the end.

I must admit it took me a while to come up with the appropriate message for the conclusion. I thought I really uplifted their spirits on how it is to feel like a proud pinoy. Here's some of the feedback from the group:

Alfred: As usual, it was very enjoyable. The story was very good.
Henry: I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Neil: You mean it was a ficitonal story? Wow, I really thought it was real! It's very good. I've always thought that your best speech was "That Extra Mile". Now, I think this is better! (note: After some alterations, "That Extra Mile" eventually became my contest piece in the 2006 Quartethlon where I became Area 78 Champion.)
Lolet: It captivated me that I just couldn't write the evaluation just yet. I didn't want to miss a single detail. Your gestures, vocal variety to depict the waiter and Juan Luna were excellent! You were so creative for tying a fictional story with these historical events.

Wow, I felt so amply rewarded with their evaluation. I did tell them that I felt like writing a mini-play for this speech project - complete with the dialogue and scenes.

After all the prepared speeches, we had a brief awarding ceremony with Gov. Lolet awarding me with the ACB pin. Gov. Lolet was also happy coz our pictorials now show our club banner. Too bad, Ann couldn't make it last night. We were supposed to discuss a demo meeting for a proposed TM Club over at Cummins.

Here's a part of the group we had last night.

Here's the new pin (bronze) as pinned on my clip. The picture is a bit fuzzy, I know.

See all my Toastmasters Speeches online here!

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