Humorous speech is really tough, can you imagine having to make people for 5 to 7 minutes but still having to have deliver something that is not just a sequence of jokes.
Being funny is difficult, being lazy I never really put in as much effort during this contest as much as I did for the other contest. On top of that, I had not delivered speeches for quite something, I felt a bit rusty.
My aim was simple: As long as there were laughter, I would be satisfied.
Fast forward to day of the contest, the next contestant is: Shaun Li, the title of his speech is “Life is…..”, “Life is ….”, Shaun Li.
I started speaking:
Soon I delivered my first punchline…., no laughter, I told myself, never give up, never fall out. I delivered my second punchline……. “Haha”…The audience laughed!!!
It is quite an irony, isn’t it? In life, we hate being laughed at. But in a humorous speech, we crave, and we beg for people to laugh at us. If they don’t, we feel naked, and awkward.
But when they do laugh, its like adding fuel to fire, encouraging us to continue.
At the end of my speech, I sighed a breath of relief as I sat down, I told my neighbor: “At least people laughed at my speech.”
She smiled: “Of course, you did great!”
In fact, I think I did better than I expected, I created more laughter than I did in the previous contests.
Finally, it was time for the results announcement. The second runner up is……..(my name wasn’t mentioned), the first runner up is……..(It was someone else), the Champion goes to……!(I knew it wasn’t me, the best performer was ahead of the pack by miles.)
I knew I didn’t deserve to get placed: I did not work as hard. I took a break from speaking which meant that I wasn’t as sharp.
That being said I had the following thoughts: “What if I had worked harder?” What if I had spoken more consistently?” “What if I had stayed sharp?”
The “What Ifs” represents the regret.
Have you ever been plagued by the “What Ifs” questions in your life?
Have you felt regretful for either not doing something or doing something wrong?
What do you do when that happens?
Through chance, I recalled that I had received an invitation to attend a speech contest at one of my favorite clubs, Changi Simei Toastmasters Club.
I had always considered joining this club as my secondary club to reinforce my basic skills. But I got complacent after I won a couple of contests, and I dropped the idea.
Looking at the invitation gave me an idea: “What if I don’t need to wait for another year to wipe away my regrets, what if I can do it right away?”
I called the club president, thankfully he welcomed me, I joined the club and registered for the contest.
The contest was 1 week away, I made amendments to the speech, and I rehearsed frequently.
The day of the contest arrived: I spoken at arena that had about 400 people but in a room with 40 people. Cold sweat flowed. “What if the members don’t like me?” “What if they don’t laugh?” But I recalled the pain of regrets that I got after the previous contest. I told myself: ” No room for regrets.”
Contest started, and I delivered my speech.
It was finally time for the results announcements: I was……not placed.
Once again I lost but I felt very peaceful. I did my very best. There is no room for regret. It simply meant that I didn’t match up. I can only work harder, and sharpen myself. The best thing with with having 2 clubs, means that I have 2 times the opportunities to speak, 2 times the opportunities to sharpen myself, 2 times the opportunities to learn and contribute!
Everything happens for a reason, regrets happens too. When it does feel it, fear it, let it motivate you to do something about it. For me in this case, the pain of regrets, the fear of such regrets happening again, motivated me to join Changi Simei Toastmasters Club, to join the contest, to work hard, to stay sharp and to continue my pursuits of excellence. While I may have lost the contest, I defeated regret, and I am at peace with myself. My friends, if there is one thing you fear, fear regret, and you will never regret it.
Your fellow human being:)