I am conscious that I have previously relied on notes and get agitated if I feel I'm deviating away from them. Last night I changed my mindset. No one actually knew what was written in my notes so to not follow them precisely wasn't really an issue. So I delivered my speech from the heart ensuring I met the criteria for speech 4 which are:
- Choose words and grammar which communicate clearly.
- Choose words and grammar which appeal to the senses.
- Eliminate jargon.
- Use sensory language
- Use rhetorical devices
The Me Inside.
In the film “Sliding Doors” the main character Helen Quilley’s life splits into two parallel universes based on the two different paths her life could take depending on whether or not she catches a tube train.
Madam Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and welcome guests I have often felt that there might be another parallel universe where I am a different me.
Why? you might ask.
Well I was adopted as a baby.
I was a preschooler when my father told me I was adopted. He would always read me a bedtime story at night or we’d practice poems and I would snuggle up to him to listen. He always smelled of bonfires as he would often burn the garden rubbish in the evening. The smell stuck to his clothes and made my nose twitch like a puppy’s. We did silly things together and I would giggle as he tried to get me to say Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper. We’d roll about the bed laughing. I felt so safe with him.
This one night was different as the story was about me and not from one of my many books. He sat with me on my bed and told me that I was special as he and my mummy downstairs had chosen me because my own mummy couldn’t look after me.
That is quite an overwhelming thing to hear when you’re quite little. I could see that my father had tears in his eyes and I couldn’t quite understand why. I traced his tears as they flowed slowly down his face as if they were trying to escape to somewhere.
I felt as if I had gone to another place as I looked through the window of my room into the dark dark night. I watched the moon which was like a shiny new sixpence in the sky, I wondered if it watched me back. (PAUSE)
I snuggled closer to my dad making sure I could feel him, making sure I could smell that comforting bonfire smell. My father sat quietly and stroked his lions mane of a beard as he held me close. In that moment I suddenly felt so small that I might have been a grain of sand in an hour glass slipping quietly into another world. My parallel universe. (PAUSE)
When I was older I would lie in my bed and imagine who I might really be. Was I the daughter of a famous actress or a musician or a ballerina? Maybe I was the love child of a princess or somebody very important. I imagined what my life might be like, that other me, the one that wasn’t adopted. I would tie myself up in knots thinking about what that other me would be doing. I felt fear, frustration, foreboding… Fear that I might have lost the other me somewhere, frustration that everything I thought I knew, I didn’t and a foreboding that something dreadful might happen but I had no idea what. It was a bit like when you put your hand in the lucky dip and don’t get to pull out a prize.
I likened myself to a small fluffy puppy, with those huge woeful puppy dog eyes that look up at you imploring you to take it home. I wondered if my adoptive parents picked me for my puppy dog qualities. Do I have puppy dog qualities?
It is interesting being an adopted child and since I have grown up and been living firmly in this universe I have tried to make sense of the Me Inside.
Christina Aguilera sums it up nicely in her song Reflection….
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside