Post-win pressure (on myself)

I’m finally working on speeches from the Humorously Speaking (Advanced) Manual. I’m praying that lightning strikes twice with my humour, and that my speech wasn’t just a “one-speech” wonder. I had done one humorist speech at my club post-win, it had gone well, but last Friday was the first time I would journey outside of my own club and do a humorist speech.

My first speech outside of the comforts of my home club. My first humorous speech outside of the comforts of  my home club.

I found out who my evaluator would be; a couple of days before my speech I emailed her to give her some info (namely the title, speech number and the manual I would be speaking from). She responded by saying it was an honour to evaluate me, and she would find it extremely hard to evaluate a champion. How could she evaluate a champion?

I wanted to respond (and did respond), “By evaluating them like any other Toastmaster.”

This is a classic case of “do as I say and not as I do.” There are, and always will be, other Toastmasters in my own home club and outside whom I will always look up to as the perfect speaker. There are those (i.e. all the International Speech Champions and runner-ups I can find on YouTube) who I will never ever be able to evaluate. For myself, I still feel like any other regular toastmaster (and one that could always use constructive criticisms at that), except now I feel like I am giving myself pressure to succeed.

I won this contest at such a high level, and now most people associate my name with the Humorist Champion for this year. Before I start sounded like the most ungrateful champion ever, I honestly appreciate and am absolutely thrilled by the win. The result is it just makes me want to work harder, criticize myself more, and want more than ever, to find that gem of a speech that will keep them laughing. I don’t want to let them down, and it makes me fear failure just that little bit more. Perhaps the only thing I can do, is the core of Toastmasters; if I want to get better at something like public speaking, I have to just get up there and do it.

I daresay the speech went well. It wasn’t perfect, but I got a couple of good laughs. All the feedback I got was great (some I kind of knew would pop up the minute I finished my speech, and others really took me aback and made me think). Not a bad first step in my books.


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