I am writing about the only time that I took part in an elocution competition. Hard as it may be to believe I don’t like to give speeches, especially scripted ones.
There are 2 reasons: I am not a natural public speaker and I am not good at memorizing things. If I try hard to memorize something I forget it, I can remember things that I never cared to memorize. Anyways, I digress.
In secondary/middle school, much against my own wishes and better judgment, I agreed to take part in an elocution competition. And almost regretted doing so the very next moment. I decide to give it my best shot.
Couple of weeks time to prepare for the competition. Not too bad!
My dad writing me the speech. Even better!
Next came the hard part: memorize and practice. After 10 days of struggle the speech starts sounding a little interesting too. Woo hoo! half the battle won!
Day of competition: Some bad speakers and some good speakers before me. Man, I was starting to have visions of winning a prize. Good confidence boost!
My turn comes. Time to talk the talk. Start a little jittery. Practicing alone and speaking in front of a crowd are two different things, I realize. Still I strive manfully. The first paragraph goes through relatively smooth. I sound better than I am because of the quality of my dad’s writing. Starting to relax a little bit. Wow, I am getting into the zone I think. Then disaster strikes, old failings emerge. I forget the text. Boom, the wind goes out of my sails 😦 I glance through the speech where I got stuck. Not a good sign. After couple more glances through the speech I stumble my way to the end of the speech hoping that the ground would swallow me. Was I going to get relief now? No, I had to hear the school topper speak next. The guy is simply amazing, he’s speaking as if he’s to the manor born. Makes me feel more miserable about myself. He was great but I was in no mood to hear and enjoy it. Was too worried about myself crapping out. Maybe if had a diaper on, it would have saved my day 😀
P.S. It’s ironical that my job today requires me to host calls and speak most of the time. Would rather prefer to think and solve problems myself rather than speak. But it is what it is and you do what it takes to get things done. At least I don’t have to memorize what I am going to say and I can use my twisted humor too!