The Boy Who Found Fear At Last

This was my take on a Turkish fairy tale. There is a translated version of the original. This was for the first speech in the Toastmasters Storytelling manual, which has a simple goal: Tell a folk tale suitable for the audience!

My first challenge was finding a folk tale which met my own criteria:

  1. It had to be the right length for a 7-9 minute speech.
  2. I wanted something relatively unknown, so the audience would not glaze over at a re-telling of a story they had heard 10,000 times before.
  3. I wanted the story to have themes that an adult audience could relate to.
  4. I wanted some form of twist or darkness or other interesting storytelling themes.

I looked in all sorts of places, including sci-fi short stories! In the end, this story lept out of a long list of folk tales due to its title. The title alone is intriguing!

I did make some adjustments to the story. In particular, I stripped out the references to the bracelet. It pushed me over time and also did not seem particularly relevant to the story.

I really enjoyed giving this performance at Farnham Speakers, and was thrilled that it won Best Speech on the night. That said, there is always room for improvement!

  1. SPEED: In my practice runs, this was on the limit of nine minutes. My final delivery was closer to eight. More pauses would really have helped the power of this speech. Perhaps I should have cut it a bit more so I could relax?
  2. VOCAL VARIETY: Strong in some ways, although one comment I got which I fully agree with is that ‘the boy’ did not have a distinctive voice compared to the narrator.
  3. BODY LANGUAGE: Strong stage usage and presence. Some actions could be refined (Swimming? The doves diving?).

Perhaps one thing I am really happy with is that I gave this speech with total confidence. It flowed and I had a good time.

Having a good time when speaking in public. Now that is pretty cool!

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