Today I gave my Toastmasters speech #7 (Research Your Topic): "One in a Million." I talked about what made Olympic athletes and prima ballerinas and chess champions one in a million: luck, work, and love. Luck—being in the right place at the right time, having the right opportunities and the right teachers—is something, but it's not everything. I shared the results of research that show it takes around 10 years to become an expert in something: 10,000 hours of work, which is just three hours a day. That's the work part. And love—love is what gets you through that. Love is what makes you push yourself past the comfort zone. Love is what makes those three hours a day just fly by. So if you want to be exceptional, just remember: 10 years, 10,000 hours, is just 3 hours a day—and your ten years can start today.
Throughout the explanation of luck, work, and love, I wove in stories about my childhood: gymnastics lessons, piano practice, chess... and computers, of course. =) (They laughed when I told them my only souvenirs from gymnastics were posture, poise, and a flat head from falling on the floor too many times.)
I wanted to talk about my parents, but even after I dropped a lot of material from the speech, I still clocked in at nine minutes—well over the 5-7 minute goal. Then again, even our timer didn't realize how much time had already passed. <grin> I guess it was a good speech, then.
The audience liked how I used simple statistics, research, and personal experience to support a story. =) I got plenty of wonderful feedback from the Toastmasters! It's always fun to perform in front of such a supportive and helpful audience.
Not bad for a speech I'd _just_ finished sketching in class that afternoon... I had most of it in my speech ideas notebook, but I hadn't settled on the specific examples until today.
Much fun. I'm looking forward to doing speech #8, which will help me get comfortable with visual aids. I've already got something planned for that one! I don't think I'll be able to finish my CTM by the end of the year—not with the end of term coming up!—but it should be pretty smooth sailing, thanks to my well-stocked idea book.