Inspire: our inner child

This was my speech number ten and I am proud of it, and this one I did repeat and repeat, and told and discussed before giving it to a bigger public. What a difference!

I put it here, almost for me, to make me remember what CAN be, when one does repeat enough.

This one here was taken home, not at the actual speech, wich was given already twice before different audiences. I knew what I'll tell, I did learn it, I did repeat it, and prepared well for it. So, it can be done, so I can do it, so I'll do it again. One times less well happens to the best. Does it not?

Inner child 1.mp3


Repeat repeat repeat

I knew, we have to be well prepared and I knew we have the courage to speak up and to love our audience. I did think, I got it, as now "I am Competent communicator, am I not?"


When one presumes too much, one can fall.

It is true, I was told, my use of visual props was good, (that is one project, number 7 I think in the Toastmasters manual): I used my gloves. The beginning was good too, because I used gloves and as it was cold outside, remembered to warm my hands, showing how difficult it was when, young adolescent, I suddenly decided not to use them.

It is true, my body language was good, but not confident enough, I did not look enough to my audience. It is true, my voice variety was adequate, but only in the second half of my tale. Body language is so important in a speech, we learn that in the task 5 and about voice variety in the 6th.

Alas, from the begining, we are told to repeat repeat repeat. Be well prepared.

Did I prepare well?

I did prepare very long time, often I woke up with the speech in my mind, going through it, going through the scenes I wanted to describe, to make my fellow club members live with me, my point to go through. I did repeat is so many times - in my mind - that I did not think so important to repeat it telling it loud, again and again.

Nothing can replace the telling it, playing it out, I learned that now.

I got my point through, but it could have been so much better! I am ashamed of myself, even if I did learn a lesson. Perhaps, even more then one. Not only of more modesty, but also of need to more telling, experience with the speech, before a small informal audience, before I tell it in public.

Last week, I was not proud of myself after my speech and even less listening to it on my Dictaphone, so next time, I know, to repeat it loud, to repeat it often, to tell it again and again before I go out and tell it to all.

I do improvise and like to do it, and improvising works, often. Not always and not when you fight against time and not when you do not feel confident. Other issues about which I'll write another day.


Romancing the Room

This book is mostly about how to impress, conquer, retain, the audience.

The story and what you want to convey is important part of what you tell, but even that is relative to whom you'll tell it. The first time I realized that, is when Robert Kennedy came to NIH, the research institute I worked for three years near Washington DC and gave us a speech.

He spoke how important is to give more money to the research. Of course, all of us, researched were conquered. He seemed also to understand other of our preoccupations and joys but most of all how important the research is.

He did spoke to our minds, souls and hearts.

By speaking about what was important to us, he made us unforgettable, as well as what he told us.

Romancing the room, takes the Audience as a Date with whom one has a "blind date", want to show him or her our best part, want to leave then a lasting impression.

How important is how we present ourselves and how we arrive, and how short or long we look each in the eyes so he is feeling, we speak directly to him. To speak in a clear language he understands, make him feel and become interested.

James Wagstaffe calls it the "communicator's courtship".
  • Never apologize, in word or nonverbal.
  • First impressions are very important
  • Look in the eyes friendly, engaging
  • Spice the romance through variety
  • End before expected
There are also lots of good advices how to "romance" different room, from family, friends, community, work, and so on.

I never felt exactly the same about the audience, after having read this book. The idea already of "romancing the room" gives me the fun I need to feel better when I arrive to speak.


Behind the curtain

I had the intention to publish the different texts I wrote before my Ice-breaker that led to the ultimate speech, but instead, or at least, for the moment, let me tell you how my last speech, the one that I will probably give next Tuesday come to be and grow, and find its way.

About four month ago, as November approached, and the 20th anniversary of Fall of the Berlin wall, and around it the liberation of all the East European Communist countries, one after the other, I wanted to make a speech about it. "The Iron Curtain."

The countries "behind the Iron Curtain" as they were called so by Churchill, first in 1946 speech as I remember. As I have lived there, from the end of the second wall until I was 27 years old, telling some stories of "how it was" on the other side of the curtain was important for me.

I could not find a place to speak about it, so I tried to make a Table topic subject, but not only I found that most of the Toastmasters did not know about the Fall of Berlin wall or the Iron Curtain, but I even got an angry answer from one of the club's president: "we do not make politics here!" notwithstanding that when he had given the first speech I heard from him, almost a year ago, his speech was all politics.

Then, in November, I listened to a very well delivered speech about how nice it was to be young pioneer in Ukraine, a personal story from her youth. The speaker even came with white shirt and red scarf to deliver it, proud of what she had been.

16 years old in 1950The red scarf!

Suddenly, I remembered MY personal story about red scarf, that I have remembered and added when I translated my diaries of my 15 to 17 years from Hungarian to Romanian. I'll tell my story, some scenes of that time of my life, and with it bring back some part of it.

It was decided, around the beginning of the December, but it took me almost two month to ponder how I will tell, what scene of that period to include and what to leave out.

Of course, if it was for me to write a book or speak an hour, I would have enough material now, so many scenes arose, day by day, in fact more dawn by dawn, in my mind. But I had around ten minutes maximum! My first tale told, not written, as I have renounced to write down before I tell it to my dictaphone, lasted 21 minutes and it had not all I wanted to tell.

It broke my heart to cut scenes from it! Some, that I loved so much, some that meant so much to me.

Finally, I found out, that some scenes were there for "the iron curtain" but were not necessary to be told long for the Red Scarf story. I can resume them, and perhaps, they will find place in another story, as there are now so well imagined by me. For example all the afwull night, when my father was arrested, I will tell it in a single short phrase.

I used Audacity, a free voice editing program, and cut my speech from 21 minutes to 11. Still too long, and still not the story as I wanted it. Something was not right, and I did not like the begining.

The beginning, is one of the most important part of a story, and as it was, I was telling how much I wanted to have a red scarf, me too, and asked and whas told "what socialism and communism were", all theory mostly. I did not like it, and I could not tell the story again, because I always stumbled on how to begin it, even where most of the later scenes, the Red Scarf end and middle were ready.

Today, I found it!

For three days now, I go to take my grand children from school with my gloves. So unlike me! Until I found that my unconscious mind was telling me: do begin with the gloves! Show them, speak about them! Yes, that is how I will begin.
60 years ago, I decided not to were any more gloves.

I was 15 living in Romania's where the winters are cold and last long. But I have read about that young comsomol girl who went to repair electricity in winter without gloves, to work better.
If already I cannot dye, as those of the Young Guards, another book heroes, fighting for the communism against Nazis, then at least I could accustomed my hands not to wear gloves.

I'll be ready, when I finish school, ready if the necessity arises, to work even in winter without gloves!
No, that is a too long beginning, and I'll have to find something expressing it better, yesterday evening, I did succeed to tell this part well to my grand daughter: she liked it, and it was clear and shorter. I am still not Tuesday, so I can tell it a few times, and also see how much all of the tale takes me, but I think it is a lot better beginning than speaking of the theory.

This is six minutes of speech cut down from the original 21 minutes with a voice editing software, to see how short can I put it and still retain the main story. I'll have to add some words or even phrases to make it clearer.

Red scarf 6 minutes.mp3

The version, after I have added some new words to it, and it is wonderful to begin learning how to edit Voice can be find it on the side, Red scarf 6 30 m voice record 

The theory part that I cut, was good for me, because it cleared to me something that was bothering me for very long time. OK, I do understood how I could believe in that ideology when I was 15 years old, but how and why did I stick to it until I was almost 21? Seven years! I have read somewhere that when we do belive in something, all facts are seen through deformed eye-glaces.  But was it true? I found excuse for almost everything, as awful as it was, as sad as I become from time to time. Why? Why?

Through the story The Red Scarf, I found my answer one morning very early at dawn. I have believed in something I still do and that is important to me. Equality of chances, non discrimination, non punishing children for what background they are coming. Not killing them because of their religion, not raping them because their sex, letting have the same chance to learn to work to be free, as the others. The only problem was, I have associated all that with "Building a communist country, going to socialism, a step toward it, where every one is rewarded after his deeds, work."

Yes, it took me seven years to associate "communist country" with "tyranny" instead, but in fact the aspiration of equality of chances remained in me, did not disappear with my awakening from my dreams.  All this is due to my preparation to relate s few days in my life, an incident about the Red Scarf, as I lived it.

The story is not recorded it in short, as it will be delivered, but Tuesday, or Wednesday, I'll try to add it here, as delivered. I will also have the opportunity to tell it again, perhaps a little bit modified, for a speech about "Beliefs" in an inter-religions and beliefs meeting I was invited to. And perhaps, some time, I will write down all the scenes that arrose within me again, from my 14 to 18 or even till my 27 years.

I was 27 when I arrived to the other side of the Iron Curtain and begun, only begun to understand what liberty means. When I was 15, I believed, we have to "liberate" all the capitalist countries and people in them! I have proof: my diary notes, pages full of enthusiasm and interrogation. Then, ups and downs, but it is only after the Hungarian revolution in 1956, when the little liberty of speech asked or used by young workers and intellectuals was squashed in blod by the Russian army's tanks that I wrote a note, a very sad not, "we do not believe any more, oh why not, oh, how good it would be if we still could believe!"

It is not for here, this blog, but I will translate my youth diaries in English, as I did in French, and put it in my "Diary of my Youth" blog. Now, I can, as I understand it better than a few month ago. And after I deliver the speech and speak with some of my audience, I'll also understand what they do not, what is not clear, what is really not known, tell it in a way that it can really arrive from me to them.


Lost art of the Great Speech

The third project in the Toastmaster's manual ask us to think us "what is the point we want to make", which does seem evident, perhaps to us, but not always to those who listen.

In the project four, all is about good rhetorical devices, simplicity, the "what words and phrases we use" to deliver it.

I did make a point "there is life after 70" in the my 3rd speech, only to forget to apply about all I have learned before, so much I was thinking to use short words and short phrases to deliver my message.

Being 'simple' I did achieve, even repetition, which is one of the rhetoric device used already 2000 years ago, but I still did not really understand "rhetoric" why and how to use it.

The book "lost art of the great speech" has more then three chapters, with examples, clear and great, and finally, I did understand their utility, and could track even who and when uses it.

In the book there is a lot more, and there are also lots of parts of the greatest speeches, as examples, and already it is useful to read it for those chapters. But there is a lot more.

How to write, how to deliver, this book by Richard Dowis, is worth reading, worth having and reading it now and again. He calls them also "the secrets of the pros".

One of the other devices, about which the Toastmaster manual does speak, but this book gives a lot of useful examples also, is the rule of three. Sometimes, three words, other times three sentences, echoing, completing each other.

Expecting three and not two or four is "wired in us", it seems.

From the bible or Julius Cesar, to today's speeches, I could give an example, but why not try to find your own?

They could be at the beginning of a sentence or at the end, they emphasis and enhance each other.

The same book, write also of the importance of "getting personal", which of course is then, more explained why and how, in the "power of personal storytelling".

The books I have each echo each other, confirm each other and complete each other.


The power of Pause

Bests of my Speaker's books-4In the "Speak like Churchill, stand like Lincoln" James Humes, in 21 short but powerful chapters, gives us 21 power tips for public speaking.

While his examples, great ones, are more from political speeches, there are valid for every speech in public.

The first is the Power of Pause.

One would not think, when we begin, how important the Pause is, and how many kind of pause we can make, and its great impact. With a pause, we somehow "hold the audience in our hands", they pause with us, look at us, wait for us.

And with a lot more patience then we think.

A pause, after an important statement, lets it sink in better. A pause, before something important gives it more impact. Short pause, long pause, we can even pause when we do not find any more what to say, to recover, and no one would notice that it was not a pause for effect!

The second speech in Toastmasters Manual is about Organizing our speech with beginning, transitions and end.

Humes' book second chapter is about Power Opener, its 20 Power Closer. There is also the Power Gesture and the Power Point, and so on.

The Power Opener, I did apply, it works as well or together with the power pause, but, then one has to follow it, so often, even a power gesture brings the audience to me.

But my favorite chapter, other then the Power Pause, which I apply now every time, is the Power line. He gives great exemples and it is true, that some lines stick in our mind, we associate them always with the one who told it and his speech.

This is wonderful, but has also a downside. All the rest of the speech fades, and sometimes there are wonderful parts and a great point, which is not all in the power line. So as much as the power line give the audience something strong to remember, it also subtracts something from all the rest of the speech, at least in my opinion.

If it were only two books to buy or to read, to study, this book, easy to read and to understand would be the second one.

21 power tips, to try out, one by one!

Because, of course, speaking in public cannot be learned without practicing it!


My prefered book:: Storytelling

My prefered book: StorytellingMore I got into public speaking, more I felt that telling a personal story is important to any speech.

In politics, just look at Obama 2004 speech which has some story about him and his father, in the speech that put him on the way he is now, or Steve Job's commencement speech which is all in three personal stories, to the new Educational President of Toastmasters, who begin his interview with a childhood story, and many others, in work or education.

Stories sell the ideas and are stronger then facts and stories connect to those who listen. Personal stories makes us human, vulnerable and brings us nearer our audience.

Part 1 : why tell stories
Part 2 : Reclaiming your storytelling self
Part 3 : Getting story ideas

Part 4 : Bringing your stories to life
this one has one of my preferred chapter: Crossing the stream
explaining through a story and metaphor the best way to learn one
Part 5. Your Storytelling powers in action
the first chapter of which adds explaining how to "embody" a story,

In all, if I would recommend only one book to read, I'll recommend this one. But, I'll tell about the other of my preferred books too.

Speak like Churchill and stand like Lincoln - I'll write about it tomorrow
Romancing the room - about audience
Story Factor - how to use personal storytelling in business
Lost art of great speech and the use of rhetoric with examples
Body language for dummies
Improving your storytelling, beyond the basics


My first coaching

I still have to go far away to learn to do it well, but as it is said, to go up the mountain, you have to make your first step.

Then, go farther, higher, step by step.

One step at a time.

I made the first step. How to do it, how to help without hurting? It is not easy, indeed. The tact thing was not my strength, besides often I do and speak to fast.

This night, I woke up, a few times, thinking of the heartbreaking beautiful story I heard, I listened, twice, this Friday. And understood it better. Should I tell, should I write, how much one has to tell and how much not?

But one thing is clear, even if he is only at number two speech, he is and will be a lot better speaker then me. What a joy!

I add to it after a few weeks, as I listened to Richard telling his tale: it was excellent! What a tallented speaker and storyteller! I could almost not believe, he was trembling to stand up, just a fex month ago! he went now far and beyond the speak project, showing lots of talent. And also, listened to my advices and incorporated them in his telling.


Childhood dreams of Randy Pausch

This speech is long, longer still, but waw, all what we can learn from it!
How to speak of course, and to move, and so one, but also from the content.

A "last speech" at Carnagie Mellon University, from Randy Pausch, apparently about his childhood dreams and how they did or not realize, and how then he decided to let others realize theirs too.

A few phrases I picked up from it:
"brick walls are there to understand how hard we want things and to stop those who did not want enough"


Humour: poke fun of yourself!

Humour, originally uploaded by Julie70.

It is no more so easy to mock others, groups or people, but it is always good usage to make the audience laugh of what you tell of yourself.

I begun to prepare for my humorous speech, making faces in the mirror, and taking photos of them. Some are also the best my grand children enjoy.

But beside the faces, and movements, it is the story you tell.

Keeping up with what I said in the previous two notes, when you find a way to "use" what happened to you, already it feels less heavy.

A reason in plus, to tell a story about what happened to you, all is to view and then show it in a way that conveys what you want to express. And then, the biggest lemon can become, sweet lemonade.


YouTube : Three stories by Steve Job

Another good place to find good and interesting speeches and storytelling is the YouTube, here a Commencement speech at Stanford University, but today I found it also on "Ted.com" who republished it in his series "best of web".

It is an example of how effective storytelling can be in a speech, but also of Job's art of creating and telling them. And also about the same point as yesterday, how he makes lemonade from lemons and waw, he did demonstrate with his life he can do it again and again.

Let us learn from it!


Videos from TED.com

Matt Weinstein: What Bernie Madoff couldn't steal from me | Video on TED.com

One of the resurces I use to learn to speak better, is TED.COM, on the web,
Not only you can choose, listen, look, read the transcripts of the talks,
but also download the one you like best on your computer or your blog.

There are some great speakers and examples, a lot to learn!

In this one, by Matt Weinstein on the Financial crisis and our reaction to it,
he does cite epictetus, who wrote this more then 2000 year ago:

"people are not disturbed by things but by how people react to them"
and also:

"we cannot choose our external circomstances but we can choose how we react to them"

No, we did not invent all today! or last year, or with Toastmasters, either, or the web,
we can learn a lot from old masters, thinkers, speakers!


Lewisham Speakers Club

Lewisham Speakers Club, originally uploaded by Julie70.

This way, but there are many ways to find a Club.

It was about a year ago that I found my way back tho this one, after a 30 years absence. And then, in August, visiting my daughter who still lives not far from where I went the first time to a club, I discovered the Monument Toastmasters again, and gave there my 6th speech.

It was supposed to be the "Voice variety" speech, but apparently it was better in body movement and content, then voice. Howewer, I gained the "best speaker of the night" ribbon and people loved the message my speech conveyed: "there is yet another chance in life."

It is in the second speech that we learn to make stronger beginings ends and think about transitions and the third one to make an important point each time, but perhaps that was the one where my point seemed most important.

In my third speech, "there is life afer 70" was well received and in some others the importance of pause, to wich I'll come back later, or of the storytelling, in the 9th, but perhaps "there is always yet another chance" is a more broad message that we all need to keep in mind.


Repeat, say it loud.

Of course, all speeches has to be prepared.

Thought out, pondered, again and again, first.

Then told out loud, if possible to a dictaphone so one can listen to the result.
Written only then, most of the time, but sometimes, I tell it again to record a better version to listen.
Listen listen listen again and again. Imagine the scenes, imagine the content.
Learn the begining, the end and the important phrases of the speech by hart.

Before my Humorous Contest speech, Dare to Share, that I did put at the first note as I remember well, I did also buy myself a cheep video camera - and now, I am not sure where I put it one day when I was not happy about its resolution. But it was useful, and I'll find it again.

To test the camera I begin to repeat my Dare to Share speech. I did not realize then the importance of "dress rehearsal" which jumps to me now as I look at it, first. But it is an example of the begining stages of the speech. Telling it to my family, to my friends, I realized which part made them laugh more, and put it at the begining, as usually once they start lauging, they laugh more easy after it.

As it was told here, it was nothing to laugh yet in it. But yes, repetition, improvement, repetition, is necessary. I did not learn it word by word, but I knew it. Mostly I knew what I wanted to say, and with time, my movements improved too, as did probably my voice variety.

Compare this begining, with the actual delivery. And this was when I knew it already - at least as I thought it will be delivered at this stage.


Some of my TM speeches to listen

You may choose one to listen, or go directly to Box.com and listen there. These can be also downloaded, I hope, write me if you have any problem with them.

I had a dream is an old speech, I told but not deliverred, after I listened to Chris's speech
Inner child is my speech number ten "inspirational"
Is there life after 70, speech number 3
May I take your picture, number 4

Only the Inner child was registered, I think on the spot, the others before I delivered them.


And the Ice did not break...

Going through the Competent Communicator Manual, by the Toastmasters International.  I did it, this year! The 10th November I become « Competent Communicator » finishing the projects number ten, from the Toastmasters first Manual, giving ten speeches.

The same day and evening, Richard gave his first "Ice breaker" speech. His was so much better then mine, a year ago! But each of us learn in our own pace and our own way.

Here is my story. Each of our story is different, yet, a bit the same too.

When we join a Toastmasters Club, we receive a first Manual called the Competent Communicator that teaches us the basics of making speeches, with ten projects for ten speeches. Each project teaches us a new technique and brings us farther in our  understanding and learning.

Speech n°1 : « Icebreaker »
Its goal is to give courage to speak before an audience, to « break the ice » of our fear and reticence to stand up in public It  also teaches us to look into the audience’s eyes,  not vaguely, but  many, one by one.

The theme recommended by the Manual is a personal story, because «it is more easy to talk about something you know well» but also so that the other members of our Toastmaster Club learn something about us, new members. It is also said, with each project you add something new, but apply all you have learned before.

As we were all "there" sometimes before, we all encourage the one giving the Icebreaker, in fact it is the main goal: give a good feedback, a good experience, give courage to go on.

I have found my way to the Toastmaster Clubs in January through Philip, the president of the Lewisham Speakers club whom I met by chance. I begun preparing my first speech immediately, even if I was not sure exactly how. I'll write about how I prepared tomorrow.

 I was very disappointed, in February and March, as the Vice President of Education who  makes the programs told me: « You’ll be able to give it in May! » At the time, I did not know, most of us in this club were new!

In May? How could I wait so long?

I wanted to finish my first ten speeches until the end of the year! I have already gone through them 33 years before, even if I forgot most of it, so I had to refresh my knowledge. I wanted to begin fast, I was ready, I have repeated it day and night so many times!

I knew it by heart! World by word - perhaps that was my first mistake.

The second mistake was that I also did not plan time for the audience reaction, which is wonderful to have in any speech, but slows it down, extends the time you tell it.

The whole time  for an Icebreaker is around 5 minutes.

How to put 75 years in five minutes?

I decided to give the beginning. But how can I not wait until May to give the speach?

I joined a second Toastmasters club, Meridiam Speakers from Greenwich, and there, suddenly David, an Experienced and Advanced Toastmaster, Chairman of the Evaluation Contest asked for a volunteer, to give his speech at Croydon Speakers. They needed an Icebreaker speech to be evaluated by five Competing Evaluators.

« They will be the one’s judged, not you! » It seemed fun and interesting, but mostly it will give me occasion to begin faster.

"I’ll go"!
"Tomorrow? "
"Yes, I am ready. I know my speech. "

The title of my speech was « And the Ice did not break » a bit of humour I found while preparing this Icebreaker speech.
The tale that I have to reconstruct yet, begun when I was ten years old, under shell attacks in Budapest hidden with my parents and lots of others in a cave. How  later, after we have escaped the Nazis, we had to fled  now before the Russian soldiers who wanted women, and asked my mother to come next morning to peal potatoes in their kitchen. That is how they called it.

It was February, we had to pass the frozen Danube from Buda to Pest. All the bridges were blown up by the retreating German army, so we had to go through on the not so thick ice without going under. As my parents did take the minimum and we were very careful, the Ice did not Break and we get through. Some others after us did not.
I did arrive to this part, and suddenly, I realised my time was up.

I froze.

(The ice did not break…not as much as I hoped.)

I could not continue. The evaluators went out, to ponder what they will say about my speech so far. I have hoped to go farther in my life, until I arrived, at twenty years later in France, but I could not. .

The Toastmaster of the evening, Chairman in a contest, told me I can go on, my story is very interesting.

« Go on, if you want. As you want. »

I could not go on. My mind went blanc I should have, could have, but I lost my momentum. I did not know yet then, that the Toastmaster leading the day, decides. what will happened, how long anyone can speak. He or she decides what happens at that meeting.

I have imagined the scenes I will tell, first in the cave, then passing the Danube river, with my parents and a small slide to hold all we took with us, and also the one of me leaving Romania and the one of me arriving in France.  I have decided, from the beginning that the rest of my life’s story will be told in my two « home-clubs », to each telling a part of the tale about my life.

What was the most important, my Icebreaker, did his job, broke through the Ice! I had a wonderful contact with my audience, I even felt drunk of its pleasure! Adrenaline? Who knows.

Despite that I could not finish it,  despite that I got stuck, I felt so light-headed even the days later, that I decided immediately to drop lots of what I was doing before, mostly going to Photographic Meetup groups, Artist’s way Meetup, Discovery of London Meetups too, all or almost all, for devoting more time to prepare the next speeches, one after the other.

I did not knew, I did not remember, speaking to audience could be such a joy!


Three actors in a speech

In a speech or storytelling event, there are three actors present, important each of them.

There is the Speech or Story, I'll call it story, because every speech has something to tell, has it not?
There is the Speaker, Storyteller, the teller. Me or you, or him or her.
There is the Audience, the listener, the viewer of the story or speech.

And of course, some more important elements that link those three together, when I speek (or you do).

How I feel about Audience and how we connect together.
How I feel about the Story I prepare and I tell.
How the Audience is connecting to the story or speech.

I wanted to begin speaking about the first Toastmaster Manual speech, the Ice breaker.  But before I did it, I thought I will look through my journal to see what I find there about my beginning in the London Toastmaster's Clubs. I found a stunning thing.

There was not much about it else that I went first to Lewisham Speakers at the beginning of February last year. Then to Meridiam Speakers a month later! I did find more in another notebook where I had my "three pages a day" from my The Artist's Way Meetup and Book of Julia Cameron.

In those three pages I was supposed to write what comes to my mind without thinking, in a streem of consciousness way. I wrote a lot about Toastmasters there. A lot less in my journal.


Even to ourselves, when we think and even more when we write, we do not tell "everything" and we do not tell it in the same way. Also in my French blog, I tell more personal things then in my English blog, and it is normal as we do not speak the same way with one friend then with the other or with our parents or children or teachers. To each we speak differently.

Finally that is how we should do with the Audience. Depending to whom we tell our story, we tell it differently. First because they do not know us or the things we want to speak the same way. And could not understand it like others. Then we do open more or less, depending to whom we do speak.

Also, personally, I am very open, and thus my sincerity comes accross when I speak and helps me connect, I do not speak the same inside the Toastmasters Club or outside, to my grand children or to my storytelling group. Telling exactly the same will not work. Plus, it will bore me, too.

So I did understand better, the need to think about the speech, adopting it to the people we speak to.

If even speaking to myself, in my 3 pages notebook and in my diary is different!

I begun at each club, giving an impromptu speech about Traveling.

At Lewisham, I was asked where I would like to go. I told my dream to go once at the airport and look at the departures and choose there and go. It is still a dream but once, I'll do it. Often, when we go somewhere we do not know for sure what awaits us, anyhow. It was a very short speech. I was not really inspired. I felt, those who listened could not understand me, not my English, but how could I think of going somewhere without planning.

At Greenwhich, I was asked to tell about a trip, and I spoke about my first holiday spend in England and Scotland, in 1976. They let me speak three minutes, well over the time! This time I succeeded to connect to those listening and enjoyed their reaction to my telling the tale. Of course, that encouraged me to go on and on...

The short, impromptu speeches when you answer to a question on the spot, are called Table Topics. Thirty years ago, when I went to the Toastmasters Club around Washington, we stayed near the table, but did not remain seated, answering them. Now, you go out to the front to answer. 

But at the beginning, even just standing up, instead of remaining seated seems difficult, it did to me at the beginning, also the second time was easier and the third time natural.

Speaking about my trip in Scotland, was more appropriate to introduce myself to a new club, then speaking about my dream to go somewhere on the spot. Also, their first reaction empowered me to go on looking at them as if they were already my friends. They also understood better, the tale and me.

With my first two short stories, I experienced already the importance of links of Speaker, Speech and the Audience!