Thursday, April 6, 2023

Guess who got best speaker for his maiden Toastmasters speech? No prize for making the correct guess. LOL!

Best Speaker for Prepared Speeches, circa April 2023


Proud and yet, Abang try to stay grounded and ask Abang’s self – What is it that Abang wanted from joining the Toastmasters and what is it that Abang would want to achieve through this first speech?


Truth be told, one of the reasons why Abang joined Toastmasters Club (apart from the one reason Abang gave in the last post), is partly because Abang felt that Abang has lost part of Abang’s self. Back then Abang used to be so confident. Abang has no qualms talking to strangers and Abang could carry on the conversations for hours with someone Abang just met for the first time, and could even make it look like we have been friends forever. However, as the years go by, Abang found Abang’s self-confidence and Abang’s perception of Abang’s own self-worth just plummeted with one incident after another, to the point that now, in 2023, Abang gets anxiety attacks, from just trying to reach out to a writer to ask for the permission to stage their work for the last Singapore Youth Festival. Abang’s anxiety was so bad, that Abang would usually just rush out of theatre to avoid being caught in the crowd after watching a performance. Abang’s anxiety was so bad in the earlier part of this year, that Abang will have heart palpitations from just taking a crowded train. That was how bad Abang’s anxiety was due to the lack of confidence and having low self-esteem.


From this first speech that Abang delivered today, Abang learned a great deal:


1. Pauses. Seem like a simple thing to do, but it really takes a lot of brainwork (in Abang’s case, at least) to remind Abang’s self to just stop and take a breather before going on to the next point. The pauses and breathing also helped Abang to regulate Abang’s heart palpitation. So Abang might try to use this the next time Abang gets heart palpitation while taking the public transport.


2. Always focus on the faces that gives some degrees of reassurance. Abang felt that when you do this, you will feel a little more confident to keep going to the next parts. Just like life, there will be b****es who would want to tear you down; Abang just needs to ignore them and focus on the cheerleaders who got Abang’s back.


3. Paces. Abang learned that if Abang were to speak slow enough, Abang will then be able to listen to the things Abang is saying a little better, and Abang would therefore be more aware of the situations/ surroundings and adjust accordingly based on the audience’s reactions. Abang realises that even in real life, Abang tends to go faster (in terms of walking, eating), to the point that Abang lost sight of what really matters. So, Abang just needs to be more conscious to take things a little slower.


Of course, needless to say, Abang still has a long way to becoming an effective and confident speaker. Abang still has lots to learn. And Abang is excited of the many possibilities that may arise in this particular journey!

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