August 9, 2005

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Survived my first Toastmasters speech!

I survived the ice breaker!

I had drafted talks for all sorts of things: lifehacking, the Philippines, even the weather. None of them seemed to fit. Then Pierre Duez of IBM CAS suggested that I talk about pets. Come to think of it, he may have been joking. Anyway, I told myself, it's the ice breaker. They don't mind non-serious topics. They want to get to know who I am.

Right. I could get away with a story about my cat. I threw together the talk in the corridor. I knew I could tell plenty of stories about Neko, who's quite a character. I picked a couple, came up with a nice beginning and a nice ending, and went for the thing.

I had so much fun bringing a few laughs from my seasoned audience. They weren't belly laughs or anything, probably just I-know-what-you're-talking-about laughs. But that was good. I wasn't sure how reactive people were because the past few talks were mostly serious, but it was fun.

It was my first time with a U-shaped arrangement. I don't like having anything between me and my audience. I stepped in front of the lectern, but I didn't know what to do about the hulking large projector in the middle of the room. I ended up going in front of it, which cut off eye contact with the people on the ends of the U. Doug Vowles suggested that I move all the stuff out of the way next time. I still have to figure out how to properly do blocking for U-style arrangements.

I remember how the all-around stage we performed Junto al Pasig was an interesting blocking challenge in grade 4. I should read up on theatrical blocking for plays in the round, and maybe ask Tita Naty and Mrs. Castillo as well...

I also need more lead-up to the punchline. I told them about ensuring my cat's safety in the household by telling my parents I'll petition my cat and my cat can petition them. ;) That went by too quickly because I was already overtime. Hmm, must work on my timing.

I say "like" way too much. Must work on my filler words next time.

I also need to work on my resonance. (Err, must find out what they mean by that, too. Yes, voice. But how?)

Whee... =D

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