Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Artistic Stress

Syndicated from The Acting Artist

Even with years of stage experience I still find that I experience a certain level of stress before performing a speech.  It was one of the main reasons why I joined Toastmasters to begin with.  I had little problems handling someone else's material, and did quite well in Improvisation when working with a group that I could bounce ideas off of, however I had not perfected the art of relying on myself for all the materials involved before.

I had written monologues back in high school and tried my hand as a disc jockey in college, but these didn't count in the same way to me as standing in a room with adults and entertaining them with my own words.  It's one of the reasons I never pursued stand-up comedy up to this point.  I was advised to by a number of people as I've been known to come up with quite a few zingers in my time, but it wasn't a place I felt ready to go.

The interesting thing is, this has nothing to do with speaking in public.  One, Fifty, Five Thousand, it doesn't matter. I am quite comfortable being in front of people.  Where my anxieties always lie is in the material.  When I am in improv mode, I'm not that worried about making mistakes.  I can always change tactic and make up something to make my phrasing sound coherent.  However with a prepared speech things are completely different.

Ironically, the more that I prepare my material the more nervous I feel in the hours leading up to my performance.  As the writer of said speech I have an artistic pride in doing it exactly right...and my pride can be pretty big sometimes.  Like most artists out there, I am my own worst critic and I hate being mad at myself.  So, I stress the entire day away, working out the best methods to not allow that to happen.

It has served me well, I guess.  My energy and enthusaism tend to be at their peak when I speak.  I've been told by some I make it look easy.  But what my audience doesn't see if that the entire day leading up to that moment has usually been laid to waste.  I can't concentrate on anything else, I'm withdrawn into my own thoughts half the time and I pace around like a crazed tower guard.

Those of you out there who think they are no good at public speaking because they get nervous...take heart. Even the most experienced of us have our nerves and stresses.  It's all part of the learning experience of being a public speaker or actor or even a comedian.  My own education is in going easier on myself, allowing the natural side of delivering my speech to flow better and to take more pleasure in what I do.

If I can't have fun, why do it at all?


Music I'm listening to right now: Dean Evenson - Dreamstreams
Podcast of the day: The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Humorous Speech Contest

October 13th, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (With photo provided)


The Bradford Toastmasters club, Speak for Success, recently hosted the local and area Humorous Speech Contests at the BWG Leisure Centre. The two evenings were enjoyable for both those attending and participating.

Contest Chairman, Doug Armstrong with speech contestants Vetri Kasinathan,
Tim Norton,Rita Beechey,Debbie Auty and Francisco Zimmermann.
The area contest was held last Tuesday evening, featuring finalists from four area clubs. The four speech competitors included Vetri Kasinathan, Debbie Auty, Rita Beechey and Tim Norton. In addition to the speech contest, a Table Topics contest was also held. Debbie, Rita, Tim, and Francisco Zimmermann competed in the Table Topics contest. Area Governor, Doug Armstrong, was chairman for the event.

After an entertaining evening, the winners of the contests were announced. Tim Norton, our Bradford club President, won both the speech and table topics contests. Rita Beechey of Simcoe Shores Toastmasters placed second in each contest. Both Rita and Tim will advance to the division contest next month.

For those interested in seeing the best of their respective areas compete in the division contest, it will be held in Innisfil, at the Innisfil Church, 1571 Innisfil Beach Road, Innisfil, ON. L9S 1A9 on Saturday November 3rd, from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm at a cost of $5.00 per person.

 The Bradford Club meets every 2nd, 4th and when it occurs, the 5th Tuesday of each month at the new  BWG Leisure Centre, 471 West Park Avenue, Multi-purpose room East End 2nd floor, Bradford, ON, L3Z 2A8,. Regular meetings start at 7pm and run until 9pm. Guests are always welcome at no cost.

 Feel free to join a meeting, or please contact on the web at http://speakforsuccess.easy-speak.org/  or Tim Norton directly at 416-871-5744.