- Open with a bang… or silence… or a combination. Ah…
*Walks on stage with purse. Quietly pulls a package of black cats out of the purse and places it on the floor in the front, and lights the lighter.* “There’s gotta be a better way to time these things!” *Looks up.* “Oh, hello! Ya know? I don’t think I’ll light this just yet. It’s just a trial run. Mr. Contest master, Fellow Toastmasters, esteemed judges and the judges I paid off earlier, and guests. This is my international speech. Now I realize it’s a very very prestigious thing to win, so I worked hard on this speech and did my due diligence. I watched EVERY SINGLE winning and losing speech that has been recorded since the beginning of time. I took notes. I watched winners on YouTube telling me how they won. I watched experts who have coached contestants who won. And I have watched, well, listened to, these people purporting to be judges with their voices altered and in the dark on how to win. I even joined a group that was going to coach me through the process! I NOW have a SYSTEM! I HAVE THE FORMULA!”
2. Refer to your mother and relive your childhood. Check!
“I remember my childhood. I was shorter. I remember my Mama’s ankles, and her feet on the pedals of the piano in our living room. I remember my Mama’s sweet voice saying, ‘Didn’t you practice at all this week? You sound like someone sat on a piano! Play it again from the beginning and use your fingers and not your butt!’ She must have been kidding because the students never got off the bench when they were playing. She used to say to me, ‘Don’t ever grab my feet when I’m playing Chopin! It’s a crime against humanity!'”
3. Make sure you use emotion. Check!
“I had a funny childhood.” *Laughs uncontrollably. Then just as suddenly breaks into sobs.* “Not everyone agreed with me about what was funny. Sometimes they violently disagreed. I still have that effect when it comes to humor, but now people just shake their heads and groan instead of throwing heavy objects.”
4. Have a point. Check!
*Pulls out a knitting needle. Looks at it, then puts it back into bag.*
5. Have a tag line. Check!
“Dry Clean ONLY! I will now translate this statement into 160 Earth languages, Klingon and Wookie.” *Checks watch. Looks above stage for translations.* “OK, never mind.”
6. Tell another story. Check!
“Wait, original story? OK, original it is. Once upon a time in a Galaxy Far Far Away… Uh Oh! That guy in the third row is looking that one up. Eek! It was the best of times, it was the… I hate GOOGLE! Hold on a second. Here’s one: In college, I had a professor that liked to intimidate people, especially me. He used to make fun of me mercilessly. He was in the midst of another diatribe and I said, ‘If you say one more word about me, I’ll come down and bite you in the leg!’ and he did. And I did. We became fast friends, until he started foaming at the mouth. I heard he spent a week in the hospital.”
7. Have a point. Huh? a different size or color or the same point?
*Gets a larger knitting needle out of bag. Looks at it. Points to it. Puts it back into bag*
8. Tell sad story with a moral. Try to use short sentences and make the ending uplifting. Got it!
“I got hit by a revolving door and when I fell down, I heard my hip break. It hurt terribly. I almost cried. The moral of the story is: Don’t walk into glass walls when in a revolving door! The door doesn’t stop. When the EMT’s came they lifted me into the Ambulance.”
9. Use the tag line and tell another story. You betcha!
*Sings “You’re the flower of my heart Sweet Adeline!” * I was a baritone. I will now regale you with a favorite story of mine from Rome. It was the second story of a hotel there. It was just beautiful with red carpet and fancy door handles and room numbers.”
10. Make sure you use a lot of the stage. It is also recommended that you lie down on the floor for maximum impact. ??
“Nah, Not going to happen. I can’t run like I used to and if I impact the stage, I may re-break my hip. Even if I don’t break it, it would take a pulley system to get me off the floor. I don’t see a set up like that here, so I think I’ll just skip this step.”
11. Have a great conclusion. Yup!
“Ladies and Gentlemen! This concludes my International Speech! Thank you! Drive home safely. Don’t forget to tip your waiter. Where do I get my prize money?” *Starts to walk off stage. Changes directions to walk the other way. Remembers black cats and grabs them gets out lighter.* “Wait! I know where my biggest competitor’s room is…” *Laughs evilly and walks off stage.*