Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let's Get Personal-Sample Speech, "Traces of Talent"

Traces of Talent
(Let's Get Personal, Advanced Speech Project #2 in the Storytelling Manual, Aug.9,2007, ACT Club, Henlin, Northgate Alabang)


Last night, as we were about to start dinner, my eldest daughter in high school, blurted out “Papa, I have something to tell you.” I said, “Yes, what is it?”

And then Celeste, my eldest said, “My classmates and I have started to discuss what each of us will be taking up in college!”

Whew! For a moment there I thought she might be announcing that she’s getting a boyfriend. After breathing a sigh of relief, I quickly smiled and said “Oh really! Well, that’s good. It only means that this early, you and your friends are already planning for your future. And that’s good! Good!”


Celeste asked me what she should take up in college. Now, many will be tempted to say “Go to where the money is” or “Go to where the opportunities are.” And with that, most would utter the hottest course nowadays and that is?

Nursing! Would you agree? It is Nursing. Five or even 10 years ago, the hot courses were those related to IT, like Computer Science or Computer Engineering.

Now, there are merits when one says “Go to where the money is”. But last night I suggested a different approach. I said “Go to where your natural talents will take you.”

“But Papa”, she implored, “How will I know my natural talents?” And to that I recalled a book I read last year entitled “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham. Has anyone read or heard about it?”

In the book, as I explained to my daughter are the three traces of talent. These three are: Yearnings, Rapid Learning and Satisfaction.

First Trace of Talent

The first trace is Yearnings, and this is the simplest. It refers to something that you’d like to be. A role you’d like to see yourself do someday. When I was in elementary school, there was a time that I wanted to be a dancing traffic policeman.

Do you remember them? There were quite a few in the 80’s. They would direct traffic this way. (action) When I saw these traffic policemen, I said “That is so cool!” And I would mimic them, much to the amusement of my parents!

So that’s the first trace, Yearnings.

Second Trace of Talent

The second trace is Rapid Learning. How many times did you realize that some subjects were so easy for you to learn that you naturally excelled in these subjects?

This is where you leave all your other classmates in the dust, so to speak. This is where your classmates or your teachers suddenly exclaim, “Wow, Celeste, you’re so good in Math or Drawing or organizing an event or something else!”

I remembered when I was in High School we had a topic in the English subject called Diagramming Sentences.

Do you remember that? That’s where you analyze and dissect the structure, form and parts of a sentence. Well to those who forgot or pretend to forget, this is where you draw a cross, put the subject here, then the predicate there, an object noun, pronouns, dangling modifiers, prepositional phrases.

And soon you have a drawing that looks like a mangled fish bone vomited by your cat.

Funny, but it was only I who received perfect scores in all the quizzes on Diagramming Sentences. This really surprised me. And later I realized I easily learned programming languages when I became a programmer.

That's the second trace of talent.

Third Trace of Talent

The third and last trace is Satisfaction. These are the activities where you derive much satisfaction. I recounted to her an incident that I noticed 2 weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I saw Celeste laboring on a school project where she was cutting a design drawn on an illustration board. It was an intricate design that looked like a church’s glass window.

She spent hours cutting the board with a cutter. The design was later covered with colored cellophane. It was beautiful. She was very happy and submitted the project.

And then, a week later, I saw her working on the leftover illustration board. This time it had a star and rainbow design and it was pretty. Thinking that her previous “masterpiece” was rejected by the teacher, I asked her, “Celeste, I thought you were done with that project.

What happened? Why do you need to make a new one?”

And this is what she said, “Oh, it’s not a school project, and it’s not even for me. It’s for Renz!”

Renz is my 5-year old son. And I was so surprised that she would spend 2 hours laboring on a nice project for a brother too young to care about it.

See, that’s the thing how talents are manifested. You’re satisfied with the activity so much that you’d want to do it over and over again.


And so, those are the 3 traces of talent that I explained last night for Celeste. And by the time I was done talking, I realized everybody else had finished their dinner and I was left with the still untouched plateful of rice in front of me.

I didn’t mind at all.

For if I would have gotten Celeste into thinking seriously what her true talents are, then it was all worth it. What about you? Do you know what your natural talents are?

Sample Speeches in Storytelling

Sample Speeches in the Old Program

Sample Speeches in Pathways