Monday, October 10, 2011

Sambal without Anchovies

With reference to the Toastmasters 'Specialty Speeches' advanced manual, I believe that some of the speech projects within poses as teasers or a launching pad to other advanced manuals. For example;

During a trip to Taiping, Perak, a dear friend of mine did a reading of a short story entitled "Sambal without Anchovies" from a collection of short stories which was written by a local author, Chua Kok Yee. The presentation was to achieve the objectives from the Toastmasters advanced manual, Specialty Speeches project #4: Read Out Loud.

The reading entitled "Sambal without Anchovies" was as follows;

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

I must confessed that I am not one that reads a lot, and I am the kind who will rather wait for the movie version to reading the actual book. However as I was the speech evaluator for the above, I was provided the Text beforehand, and I found the story extremely touching, heart-moving, and motivating. I wanted to attempt the same story myself, and see what my interpretation of the text was.

As I have attempted the 'Specialty Speeches' advanced manual before (with the reading of John F. Kennedy's speech entitled "We are going to the Moon"), I decided to attempt this story for a different speech project of similar nature, Interpretive Reading project #1: Read A Story. During the course of my preparation, I read through the full text and it took me 20 minutes at a comfortable rate. Since this project only allows me 8 - 10 minutes, tasteful editing was required.

The reading entitled "Love Letters" was as follows;

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

I even had made arrangements for my friend to be my speech evaluation in-turn (the evaluation session is included in the video above).

Via my observation of my friend's reading and from my own, I deduced the following of the speech projects' details;

The Similarities;

  • Narration and interpretation of the author's message
  • Emphasis on Vocal Variety and emotional appeal 
  • The need to identify and lead to a climax

    The Differences are;

    ElementsSpecialty Speeches (Project #4) Interpretive Reading (Project #1)
    Duration13 - 15 minutes 8 - 10 minutes
    Use of Body Gesturesminimal
    (not to overdo it till it is an act)
    minimal to 'not required'
    (eye contact still required)
    Area of FocusThe author's style The author's message and emotions of message

    Suggestions when attempting either of these manuals and projects:

    • Selecting the appropriate text is important as while tasteful editing is allowed, too much of it still will result in different meaning and interpretation of the original text. 
    • Make sure the story selected has a climax to begin with.
    • Make arrangement with the Toastmaster of the Day/Evening (TME) to provide the introduction and your own summarize interpretation of the story. This may provide the audience a gist of the story and what the speaker is trying to convey.

    Overall it was a truly valuable learning experience and when the opportunity arrives, I will attempt these speech projects again.

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