Last week, I attended YOCS meet. YOCS is Young Orator's Club of Secunderabad. During the major of the meet (which is a speech making session for 2 minutes for each speaker), the topic given was "Who am I?" or "Does society makes you who you are?"
The topic was something on which each person who spoke had his/her own opinion. Some of them frankly accepted that they didn't know who they really were, which is only fair. Some portrayed themselves in the work they do, which could be singing a song, reading a book etc., which basically meant that whatever you do shows what you are. Others described themselves
starting with their names, and moving to their hobbies etc.
Everyone was free to talk on the topic the way they wanted to. I framed my speech a little different after listening to some of the speakers. But, as always, I messed up almost everything when I started to speak.
I suspected that I knew the main problem with my speech delivery and yesterday my suspicion was confirmed. Standing in front of staring eyes and open ears waiting to hear what you have to say is not what makes me uncomfortable. It is my thought process and ability to think while speaking is what prevents me from speaking consistently and fluently.
I volunteered to be the next speaker after a few speakers spoke their mind, on insistence of my friend sitting beside me. I had all the points jotted down in my mini-textpad and was quite happy about what I was going to speak.
Standing at the podium is not the hard part, but speaking cohesively and consistently in front of people is. I started a few seconds late, trying to recall the starting line that I'd been repeatedly speaking in my mind. After the initiation I spoke a few more lines, then looked at the points I'd written and switched abruptly to something not in flow/sync of what I was speaking, though was related to what I was speaking on.
I ended whatever I was speaking with a quote, again not totally in sync with the starting of the speech. The best thing that I could do was to politely say, "thank you" and smile, and walked back and took my seat.
I was expecting comments like lack of confidence and fumbling voice etc. But the reviews were lenient for guests like me. The review that I received was that my speech was good, the starting few lines were good, interesting thoughts, but I deviated from what I was speaking on and abruptly started telling all the points I had thought about speaking. I was more like a high-school thing, reciting all the relevant points for the speech. Since I had limited time, I should have focused on the first part of my speech and elaborated on or extended that.
I fumbled and lost on many grounds, but in the end, it did feel great to go and speak my mind in front of people who listen and appreciate the good in what I speak and tell me where I did badly.
Waiting for the next meet....!