By Prince Motiani, DTM Tip Top Toastmasters

In the past submissions, we have covered the Icebreaker and the power of the voice. Going forward, there are the words we speak, the structure, and body language. Then, we can move on to impromptu speaking and how to evaluate speeches.

Today, it being the present, the here and now, I‘ll simply ask you if you’ve been confronted with an event or a statement more than once in close succession? As though nature were sending you signals to act upon. An acquaintance of mine pointed out to me that it isn’t what I say, but how I say it, which matters. Just a week or so later, I’m reading a book by Deepak Malhotra entitled Negotiating the Impossible, and there I read, “Its not just the substance of what you offer that matters, but how it looks to your negotiating partner.”

Let’s discover the what and the how of speeches together. Looking at the judging criteria of our speech contests, we observe that they put the onus on speech development and leave 30% to the manner in which they are delivered.

Let the following be my gift to you:

Be it as an onlooker or as a contestant, you realize that in competing, we overlap and reconcile a speech and a story whilst respecting their individual structures as we bear Graham Greene’s words in our minds: “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”

As we listen to the contestants’ stories, we notice that the winners invariably follow Brandon Sanderson’s golden rule: “The purpose of the storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” In their stories, they string anecdotes together which will become the stepping stones on their hero’s journey. If you want to tell us your story, join us at Tip Top Toastmasters or a club in your neighborhood.

According to Robin Moore, “Inside each of us is a natural born storyteller, waiting to be released.” Now share this write up with everyone around you and ask them to present you with their story.

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