Saturday, June 3, 2017

Keep Them Laughing-Sample Speech, "Toastmasters Sucks!"

This speech was delivered at the BF Community Toastmasters Club in the June 3, 2017 Toastmasters Meeting.

Toastmasters Sucks!!!
(Keep Them Laughing, Advanced Speech Project #4 in Humorously Speaking Manual, Jun.3,2017, BFComm TMC, MMCP, Las PiƱas. Evaluated by AD Jeffrey Ganaba CC)


INTRODUCTION

Good afternoon Toastmasters. Thank you, Toastmaster of the Day. Just a minor correction though. The title of my speech is not "Toastmasters Sucks." The title is "Toastmasters Sucks!!!" Those were the words I said to myself when I came out from the first Toastmasters meeting I attended many years ago.


BODY

Ten years ago, I was thinner, maybe 30 lbs. lighter. A new Toastmasters club was formed at our office where I was employed previously. All the senior managers in the company were the founding members of that club.

One day, the managers decided to require all engineers and IT staff to join their Toastmasters meeting. I was one of the IT staff. I didn’t want to go. I simply was not interested in public speaking. But we were forced to go, so I attended.


I was an observer in the meeting. When I came out of that meeting, I was totally turned-off. I thought it was a waste of time. Right there and then, I could have said, “My gahd, I hate Toastmasters.”(with Duterte accent) The meeting looked artificial and exaggerated. I’ll tell you TWO reasons why.




First is the constant handshaking.

I discovered that my boss, a grumpy person at the office, was actually an officer of the club. But in the meeting, he was suddenly warm, friendly and welcomed me like I was a long lost friend! He said “Les! Glad you could make it!" He then shook my hand until my entire body trembled.

The other club officers waved their arms to greet me and shook my hand. One of them was even carrying a hammer. Later, for some strange reasons, he banged that hammer on the table - not once, but twice!


Oh it didn’t stop there. There was handshaking every time someone went up to say something in front at the lectern (demo). Finally, more handshaking when everyone had to leave.

It was like they were all running for mayor and were actively campaigning. I don’t know. At that time, it just seemed too artificial for me.

The second one was the constant clapping.

When someone is called, everyone claps. When someone stands to come in front, everyone claps. I thought I was attending a graduation ceremony. At the start, everyone was clapping generously and loudly (demo), with so much gusto. Well, like in graduation ceremony, when the list of graduates is long, the clapping gets tired.




In that meeting, it was the same. I was loudly clapping for all the speakers and then for all the evaluators. By the time the Ah-counter came along to give his ah counter’s report, my palms were already red, tired, and painful from all the clapping.

And all I could give for the Ah-counter was this (demo) – a slow clap. The numerous clapping looked so exaggerated, like it was overacting already.


With these two pet peeves I had, still, I decided to try out, and "answer the call" (theme) of Toastmasters with the basic speeches. It was only later then that I discovered that these two had real purposes in Toastmasters meetings!

The first, the handshaking, is a universal greeting gesture to recognize. In all our meetings, it is an ingenious (word of the day) way to hand over control of the floor from one speaker to another.

Clapping, on the other hand, demonstrated the idea of unconditional support and encouragement that Toastmasters give each other. And this is something that Toastmasters is known for, support and encouragement.


CONCLUSION

So, friends, new members and newbies, don’t be put-off by these seemingly exaggerated motions. They have their place and they are normal and typical with all Toastmasters meetings.

Those past impressions of mine were from 10 years ago... 10 years ago. And… 39 speech projects later… here I am, no longer saying “Toastmasters sucks!”, but now saying, “Toastmasters rocks!”. Good Afternoon. Toastmaster of the Day.