Saturday, July 25, 2015

Warm Up Your Audience-Sample Speech, "Oldies But Goodies"

This speech was delivered at the Alabang Community Toastmasters Club in the July 25, 2015 Toastmasters Meeting.

Oldies But Goodies
(Warm Up Your Audience, Advanced Speech Project #1 in Humorously Speaking Manual, Jul.25,2015, ACT Club, Hermanos Taco Shop, Alabang. Evaluated by Ed Fabonan, DTM)


INTRODUCTION

Good afternoon fellow Toastmasters. Some of you know me as a church worker in our parish. And no, I don’t get paid for being a parish worker, although I wish I did! I’m a commentator at the parish.

For those not familiar, a commentator is one who leads in the responses to prayers and even songs during the Holy Mass. I work as a commentator in Sunday masses, weekday masses, baptisms, even funeral masses. But my favorites are the wedding masses.



BODY

Who among you here are married? Whether happily or unhappily? Anybody got married in a church? I love serving in wedding masses because they’re so festive. At least that’s how marriages start, festive and happy.

Well, they say there are 3 rings in a marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring and the suffer-ring.




Last year, I served in one of the wedding masses in our parish as commentator. Now, I've been a Toastmaster and a commentator for quite a while and I was confident, this is just another regular wedding for me that will be a breeze.


Elderly Groom

When I arrived at the church, everyone was getting ready. Everyone in the entourage was stunningly beautiful. I was about to get the names of the wedding couple from the marriage contract, but saw that the marriage contract wasn’t there yet at the altar.

Maybe the contract was just late I thought. So to get the couple’s names I went to see the good-looking and excited groom.

I was shocked! The groom was an old guy. He was about 70 years old! I said to myself. What a lucky dog! This guy must be super rich to charm a young bride! And so I was curious to find the beautiful bride. After all, there were beautiful bridesmaids and lovely ladies all around.

I saw the bride, and she’s as old as he was! A wedding couple in their 70’s just getting married! Goodness. And a couple of silly thoughts ran in my mind.

How will they manage their honeymoon at that age? What will they do on their wedding night? I mean they’re older than ma’m Lolet here!


Missing Contract

When I got their names, I went back to the altar, but still, the marriage contract wasn’t there. In its place, however, was a framed piece of paper and it said, “Renewal of Vows”. It was their 50th wedding anniversary and they were getting married the second time around.


Later, the couple’s son came up to me and asked if the reserved seats in front were for the wedding couple’s parents. And I said, “Yes, they’re for the parents of the couple”. And the guy shrugged his shoulders and whispered, “But sir, they’re all dead!”




And so I referred the matter to a grumpy old lady church assistant, and she said “Well, just get somebody there. We don’t care who it is, as long as that person is old, just put him there”.

So I told the young man to just find a sibling, brother or sister or a close older relative of the couple to fill up the seats.


Challenges with the Renewal of Vows

Long story short, the wedding proceeded without a major problem. But it did test my Toastmasters skills. And that included changing the commentator’s script off the fly, on the spot. Words on the script had to be changed as I was reading them.

And so words like:
“As they start their new life together…” became “As they renew their vows together…”
“We request the couple’s parents to stand by them…” became “We request the couple’s children to stand by them…”

I even had to put the terms of endearment that we Filipinos love to use. Instead of addressing the couple simply as Jose and Olivia, I called them out as Tatay Jose and Nanay Olivia in the entire wedding mass.

So, just when I thought this would be another wedding, I was wrong. Even if I thought I was a seasoned Toastmaster, there are still surprises along the way.


CONCLUSION

The smallest handcuffs in the world are a pair of wedding rings, or so they say. That may be true. At least for this couple, they showed how they treasured their handcuffs very much - for 50 long years. Toastmaster of the Day.