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CSUSB Toastmasters: The Superhero Edition

On May 11th, I finished my sixth speech for CSUSB Toastmasters and the title was Voice Acting and Story Telling. I decided to speak about the origin story of electric superhero Cole MacGrath from the video game inFAMOUS. The purpose for this speech was for me to project my voice, be forceful, emphasize my main points and be expressive. Similar to my fifth speech, I started off nervous, but shortly began to get confident the more I kept on speaking.

According to Sucker Punch Productions Producer Brian Fleming, “Cole is a guy who is incredibly low status at the beginning of the game, you want to be Famous or inFAMOUS at the end. You become this super-human person, do you use that for good or for evil.”

I set the tone with that quote, and talked about Cole’s transformation from being an ordinary person to becoming an electric superhero. I explained that inFAMOUS has the best and most dramatic introduction in video games because when the player presses the start button, a huge explosion happens.

When the explosion happened, people were crying, yelling and screaming. Buildings began to fall creating complete chaos in Empire City. I also said that Cole was laying on the ground bloody, blistered and scarred from the explosion. He pulled himself up, looked around and said, “What the hell happened? Oh God.” I felt like I had everybody’s attention in the room.

I actually inserted dialog from the game into my speech. When I played inFAMOUS for the first time, there was a plot twist that really caught me off guard because I didn’t see it coming.

For instance, Cole took orders from FBI Agent Moya and she promises him a way out of Empire City if he could find her husband John and the Ray Sphere (which is the bomb that exploded). Cole eventually finds John and John claimed to know where the Ray Sphere was.

Cole says, “What do you want me to tell Moya.” John says, “Who the hell is Moya?” Cole says, “Ah… Your wife.” John says, “You’re getting played, I’ve never been married and don’t know anyone named Moya.” Cole says, “You’re screwing with me right? She’s an FBI agent just like you.” John says, “FBI Agent, yea that’ll be the day, I hate those bastards.”

Cole now had a dilemma on his hands because somebody was lying to him: John or Moya.

When I said that dialog from the game, I had everybody’s attention and they were into the story I was telling. I also realized that I’m able to talk about inFAMOUS and not make it sound like a gimmick when I connect it to my story, because the audience will see that I am passionate about the franchise.

When I present my CalmandStrong speech. I know I could definitely pull off combining my story with Cole’s story, because I’m able use vivid imagery and make our story’s feel like a dramatic movie.

I had a minor mishap when I completely forgot my conclusion or a short amount of time. I felt like I was standing at the podium forever and didn’t saying anything. I gathered my thoughts and was able to finish strong, but not as strong as I would have liked. Even though I felt like I could have performed better, my evaluator thought I did great.

For example, he said I was calm and getting better with every speech. I need to work on speaking louder, which is difficult for me because I’m a soft spoken person. He also said I looked comfortable and had great eye contact scanning the room while I was speaking.

The Grammarian said that I was very descriptive while I was talking about Cole’s origin story. He pointed out that I said Cole was bloody, blistered and scarred from the explosion and that caught his and everybody else’s attention immediately.

There was a part in the meeting called Table Topics where the Table Topics Master comes up with a topic and people have to do a small speech about it. The topic was about superhero’s, and when it was my turn to speak. I chose to add on to what my prepared speech was about. I said if I had to be a superhero, I would be like Cole and control electricity.

I said Cole has the choice of being a hero or a villain, and I said I would be a hero because I feel like I’m fighting something within myself to do the right thing. I said when I play as Hero Cole in inFAMOUS, I heal random people on the street by using my hands as a defibrillator. I also explained that I would use my electricity powers for the greater good.

After my Table Topic speech, the Grammarian noticed that I said Cole has the choice of being a hero or villain, and I said I would be a hero. He said that says a lot about the type of person I am because I would choose to be a hero.

When the meeting was over, a new guest who attended approached me and said my speech was really good. I told her I feel like I’m getting better with every speech and she said she could tell because it was really good.

* On May 13th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Hospital and I spoke with the teacher. We are currently in the works of setting up a day when I could speak to the children patients with my CalmandStrong PowerPoint Presentation. She approached me and said she hasn’t forgotten about me and was going to check out my website and see my PowerPoint. She expressed that she was still interested in me speaking to the children.

* On May 19th, I will be attending the Network After Work event located in downtown Los Angeles from 6pm to 9pm. Look out for my next blog post about my experience at the Network After Work event.

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