05/01/2010

Three actors in a speech

In a speech or storytelling event, there are three actors present, important each of them.

There is the Speech or Story, I'll call it story, because every speech has something to tell, has it not?
There is the Speaker, Storyteller, the teller. Me or you, or him or her.
There is the Audience, the listener, the viewer of the story or speech.

And of course, some more important elements that link those three together, when I speek (or you do).

How I feel about Audience and how we connect together.
How I feel about the Story I prepare and I tell.
How the Audience is connecting to the story or speech.
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I wanted to begin speaking about the first Toastmaster Manual speech, the Ice breaker.  But before I did it, I thought I will look through my journal to see what I find there about my beginning in the London Toastmaster's Clubs. I found a stunning thing.

There was not much about it else that I went first to Lewisham Speakers at the beginning of February last year. Then to Meridiam Speakers a month later! I did find more in another notebook where I had my "three pages a day" from my The Artist's Way Meetup and Book of Julia Cameron.

In those three pages I was supposed to write what comes to my mind without thinking, in a streem of consciousness way. I wrote a lot about Toastmasters there. A lot less in my journal.

Why?

Even to ourselves, when we think and even more when we write, we do not tell "everything" and we do not tell it in the same way. Also in my French blog, I tell more personal things then in my English blog, and it is normal as we do not speak the same way with one friend then with the other or with our parents or children or teachers. To each we speak differently.

Finally that is how we should do with the Audience. Depending to whom we tell our story, we tell it differently. First because they do not know us or the things we want to speak the same way. And could not understand it like others. Then we do open more or less, depending to whom we do speak.

Also, personally, I am very open, and thus my sincerity comes accross when I speak and helps me connect, I do not speak the same inside the Toastmasters Club or outside, to my grand children or to my storytelling group. Telling exactly the same will not work. Plus, it will bore me, too.

So I did understand better, the need to think about the speech, adopting it to the people we speak to.

If even speaking to myself, in my 3 pages notebook and in my diary is different!

I begun at each club, giving an impromptu speech about Traveling.

At Lewisham, I was asked where I would like to go. I told my dream to go once at the airport and look at the departures and choose there and go. It is still a dream but once, I'll do it. Often, when we go somewhere we do not know for sure what awaits us, anyhow. It was a very short speech. I was not really inspired. I felt, those who listened could not understand me, not my English, but how could I think of going somewhere without planning.

At Greenwhich, I was asked to tell about a trip, and I spoke about my first holiday spend in England and Scotland, in 1976. They let me speak three minutes, well over the time! This time I succeeded to connect to those listening and enjoyed their reaction to my telling the tale. Of course, that encouraged me to go on and on...

The short, impromptu speeches when you answer to a question on the spot, are called Table Topics. Thirty years ago, when I went to the Toastmasters Club around Washington, we stayed near the table, but did not remain seated, answering them. Now, you go out to the front to answer. 

But at the beginning, even just standing up, instead of remaining seated seems difficult, it did to me at the beginning, also the second time was easier and the third time natural.

Speaking about my trip in Scotland, was more appropriate to introduce myself to a new club, then speaking about my dream to go somewhere on the spot. Also, their first reaction empowered me to go on looking at them as if they were already my friends. They also understood better, the tale and me.

With my first two short stories, I experienced already the importance of links of Speaker, Speech and the Audience!

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