Unsatisfactory performance

Perhaps it was because I was not as well prepared as my maiden speech. Perhaps it was because I was still gripped by nervousness. Perhaps it was because I was speaking in front of a guest speaker and was feeling acute anxiety as a result.

I think it was a confluence of factors though being not well prepared and getting stage fright, to me, were the main contributing factors. I had been toying with the idea of postponing this speech as I have been extremely busy at work. In fact I only finalised the script of my speech two days before Saturday and I worked on the slides till 2am, and then woke up before 7am to go to work. If not for the one-hour practice with the slides just hours before my speech, my performance would have been worse. I hadn’t had time to practise in front of an imaginary roomful of Toastmasters either, unlike what I did for my earlier speech.

What I learned from this lesson – don’t give a speech if I’m not ready or well prepared.

But what floored me today was NERVOUSNESS. My shaky voice and unclear diction betrayed my nervousness. During break, a Toastmaster from another club said he would still feel nervous even having delivered several speeches and what one can do is to manage it. Indeed, but the question is how.

Here are what others and myself evaluated my performance:

Guest speaker Mr Glenn Lim: He had only positive comments for me. I think he was kind not to put me down.
◇ good structure – using a question to open

◇ use of metaphor – a picture is worth a thousand words

◇ oratorical – cut out connecting words; eg photography, painting, graphics… Instead of saying for photography, for painting…

◇ effective transition – use of “in closing” etc as signposts

◇ something about “nuggets” of information (didn’t catch it what about the word)

◇ personification – stamps and postmark tell stories

Appreciate Angela and Anthonius’ opinions.
Angela, my evaluator:
◆ Could have taken more time with introduction – talking more slowly would have more impact
◆ Could have chosen a specific topic, ie, Singapore stamps
◇ That used slides very good in project 2
◇ Good transition
◇ Nice phrases “a picture is worth a thousand words” and “stamp is the best ambassador of a nation”.

Antonius, my mentor:
◆ Opening and closing imbalance – top heavy bottom light; opening 50 sec but closing only 30 sec.
◆ Too many slides – should flash per slide for 3 sec
◆ rigid and lop-sided posture

◇ strong vocal variety

◆ Nervousness, nervousness and nervousness (my heart was pounding just before the speech)
◆ Not well prepared
◆ Too many slides (should slides  even be used for project 2?)
◆ Script did not relate to some slides directly, eg when I talked about a place, the slide should show a place)
◆ Hard to think of a subject to talk about and spent three weeks on research and less time on scripting and practising


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