When I raised my hand to participate in the Evaluation Contest, all I wanted to do was to get out of my comfort zone. No thought of perfection or imperfection. No feeling of courage or fear.
And during the experience, I did get out of my comfort zone, with an added bonus of an adrenaline rush. The same rush you get when you do something new and exciting for the first time was running up and down my system.
And also during this first official speaking experience, I got a sense of what works for me and what doesn’t.
What worked for me the best was the strong connection I felt with the topic of the speech “Public Speaking or How I Learnt to Love Make Believe” delivered by Oliver. It was a topic that I was genuinely interested in, in fact one that I was subconsciously searching for. Ever since I started my dance classes, I had been searching for a key to unlock the “dancer spirit” in me. And having seen Beyonce (check this out: http://giftsandmiracles.com/2016/03/17/alter-ego-for-public-speaking/) and other performers talk about tapping into their alter egos for stage performance, I wanted one as well!
So when Oliver suggested creating a “persona” for public speaking, at first I didn’t really get what he was referring to. But soon I realized that it was the same thing as I call “alter ego” in my vocabulary. So I had an “Aha” moment in my mind with my inner voice saying “There it is again! So I really need an alter ego for different types of performances, whether it is a dance performance or a public speaking performance”.
To get carried away a little bit, I suspect that my dancer alter ego is a “Phoenix” (at least for R&B and Hip Hop dances). I just feel it. But the question is “How do I unlock it?”
And what did not work for me was “Copy & Paste”. Until that afternoon when I read through the material, which had been serendipitously given to us in our last club meeting by Charlotte, the speaker from Wiesbaden club, I had no idea what evaluation was all about. So I read the material and got a theoretical sense of what I am supposed to do. (To be honest, when Charlotte was making her presentation on evaluation two weeks back, I couldn’t connect to her speech and listen, due to irrelevance. Back then little did I know that at the end of that club meeting, I would be raising my hand for an evaluation contest.)
Anyway, having gotten an understanding of what I am supposed to do, I tried to get a sense of how it should be delivered by watching Ben’s contest-winning evaluation that I had recorded two days back at another club. (Check it out here: http://giftsandmiracles.com/2016/03/14/visit-to-esprit-de-corps-toastmasters-club-14-03-16/) So I watched the video over and over again comparing it to the other evaluators’ speeches that I had recorded as well.
And I tried to deliver in Ben’s style. But each time I tried to use from Ben’s elements, I was losing the thread of my thought process. For instance, in the opening of his evaluation, Ben said “Today your speech, Babbel, I would classify as a speech to inform.” And I imitated it by saying “You the purpose of your speech was is speech to encourage, but to me it was a speech to tease.” Do you see my breakdowns there? 🙂
So all in all, the experience was everything I expected and more. And in my next speeches I will just reiterate the process and find out what works and doesn’t work for me. And it will be a real miracle if Oliver helps me identify and unlock my “public speaking alter ego” who will stand there tall and kick a**!