Humorous speech contest time and no idea for a topic until I saw an article about rugby. Not that I had any clue about rugby.
The difference between the rugby league and the rugby union was in my opinion that the guys from the rugby league were wearing the shorter shorts. After this explanation, most dedicated rugby fans are already rolling their eyes.
The rest of my knowledge was even more limited but I was hooked to talk about this topic. During the research I came across the legendary All Blacks and their famous Haka. “That would be a wonderful descriptive way to show the power of rugby,” I thought.
Then the day of the contest arrived. It was scorching. What do women wear when it’s hot? They wear short, no not shorts but skirts. The contest started. I tackled, ran over the field, and kicked the ball. The words were flowing like the sweat pearls on the forehead of players during the match. Half-fly, defender or scrum-back – I performed them all. Then it was time for the Haka Dance. The audience was amused, then they started to giggle, before they laughed so much that they could hardly breathe anymore. It sounded like they were running over the field.
“Wow”, I thought, “I didn’t expect that my dancing and pronouncing of the Maori words are so entertaining. It seems I swept them of the feet! This is the best reaction from the audience I have seen the whole evening. I will win the contest.”
Proudly I walked back to my seat. There my friend looked into my eyes and asked: “Don’t you feel embarrassed?” I was surprised about this remark. “Why,” I replied. “Because with every movement your short skirt moved a bit more upwards. At the end of your Haka it was dangling more or less around your hips.” Now, I was speechless.
What did I learn on that night? It isn’t enough to practice the words, facial expressions and gestures you should also wear your stage outfit before. Furthermore, never be too confident as pride comes before the fall. Fortunately, this episode happened in a Toastmasters environment where we can make mistakes, where we can fail or embarrass ourselves, like I did on that day. Toastmasters is a playground where we can test things. If they don’t work forget them. No problem. If they work, you can use them outside of Toastmasters in your family and in your business. Where else do you find such an opportunity?
Jazzmin Hecht DTM
Division R Director