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Overly Ambitious...

On Wed. Jan. 20th, I did my second speech for California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Toastmasters. The title of my speech was called inFAMOUS: The Hero’s Journey. Before heading to the podium, I noticed I started to get a headache and got really nervous.

When I made it to the podium, I played my inFAMOUS 2 music montage with Nas’ Stillmatic (The Intro). I was holding my tablet while it was playing so everybody in the room could see it. I noticed the people in the room were confused of why I was showing them this video. I could tell from the looks on their faces that they weren’t that interested and confused.

When the video ended I began to talk about how the inFAMOUS franchise influenced me to be positive and move forward with my life after I defeated cancer two-times during my teen years. I started off nervous, but slowly got a little better towards the middle of my speech. I felt I was losing the audience’s attention because of my nervousness, and because of my nervousness I didn’t sound as confident.

At the end of my speech, the most embarrassing thing happened. I completely forgot my conclusion. I tried to remember it, but I kept on stumbling over my words and couldn’t finish my conclusion as planned. Once I realized I just couldn’t remember my conclusion, I just said thank you and stepped down from the podium.

At the end of every meeting, there is an evaluator that takes notes of how the speakers did. My evaluator said that the music montage I had was good but it lasted to long, almost 2 minutes. He said I had the audience in the palm of my hand, but I couldn’t execute, mainly because I didn’t have a conclusion. He also said the information I had was good, but just needs to be more organized.

I had a week to prepare and I thought I did because I wrote a script and studied it. I was organized, but when I started speaking it didn’t seem like I was because of my nervousness. I am able to articulate my thoughts, but struggle to express these thoughts and turn them into confident words.

I related this situation from when I was at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). There were times when I studied hard for a test, then the end result of the test would be 70%. It was frustrating for me to be looked at as average during my second speech, because I put a lot of work into it and expected more of myself.

During the last couple days after my speech, I began to reflect on my whole speech and what I did that was good and what I could do to be better. For instance, I wasn’t doing any distracting hand movements, my appearance matched with what my speech was about and for the most part in the beginning, I did catch everybody’s attention.

I need to work on speaking up because the people in the back of the room had a hard time hearing me, I have to speak more confidently, less monotone and have notes just in case I forget parts of my speech.I did my first speech from memorization and I pulled it off. I figured since I did it before, I could do it again. I was overly ambitious and thought I could do better than my first speech, but it completely back fired.

I spend a lot of time organizing and planning what I’m going to say before I speak at Toastmasters. I’m not speaking just to speak when it’s my time to step to the podium. I’m speaking for a bigger purpose that not all of my fellow Toastmasters know about.I feel when I get the chance to speak with my PowerPoint Presentation (which has pictures and videos) in its entirety. It would be easier for the audience to comprehend, because my life from 1999 to 2013 is very complex.

I take this journey of mine very seriously, because I want to get better. I want to get to the point where the audience might not like what I have to say about how the inFAMOUS franchise, Nas, The Pharcyde and Blu & Exile saved my life during and after my cancer ordeal, but still respect the struggle I’ve been through that made me the man I am today.

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