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JP's Knee Slappers

Why Not to be a Toastmaster

J P Aug 15
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Below is the script of the humorous speech for this episode of “JP’s Knee Slapper”

The world is in a madness. Up till 2018, more than 358,000 people in 143 countries have been affected by this wave. The number is far lower than the confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, but luckily and unluckily, I am one of them. Not just that, you all are as this is the population of toastmasters worldwide.

Why did I join Toastmaster? I was 24. I don’t have a girlfriend. I do not have too many friends. And literally have nothing better to do on a Tuesday evening. Most importantly, I need some evening snacks and drinks to fill up during the break. What else do we all need? Right? Of course you cannot say that. So when anyone asks me this question, I need to improve my communication and leadership skills.

It has been some time for me to be a Toastmaster now. Still less than a year – so I am still as fresh as the East Coast Plan. My actual friend has been replaced by my Toastmasters friends. My actual family has been replaced by my Toastmaster family. My actual girlfriend… well let’s not get there. So I have filled absolutely tired and overwhelmed by Toastmaster.

Good evening to my fellow Toastmasters and guests who have not made the same mistake I have ever had. Today I am going to give you three reasons as to why not to be a toastmaster.

Reason number 1. Toastmasters talk too much. If you ask any toastmasters about what is their favourite past time, they would say talking- and then they just keep talking talking and talking, even they are still saying. Then you know why when I hear the same person giving the opening speech of the chapter meeting – Good evening, everyone. How’s everyone doing? Who hasn’t got their bubble tea? This is the spoiler alert of the Toastmasters existence. Give them every chance and they will not stop talking.

Recently, my friend sent me a box of cookies made by him and asked me for feedback. As we all know here, our evaluation contest is just around the corner. I thought I would give him my feedback based on what we learn here in Toastmasters. Let’s call this friend Shaun. Shaun, the cookie you serve me today is absolutely amazing. The cookie is golden yellow, appetizing and perfectly executed. You seem confident and relaxed by preparing it. You have good eye-contact with the cookies. You also make very good use of the ingredients and the kitchen floor. Good for all these. Shaun, as you have made us some magnificent cookies, if you hope to make better cookies, you could have added some chocolates and peanuts. However, I congratulate you Shaun for making such a wonderful box of cookies. I look forward to any food prepared by you again. And now everyone look at Shaun. His face is telling me: Hey John. What do you want to say actually for such a long paragraph? Ai… Toastmasters really love talking too much.

Reason number 2. Toastmasters are big, fat liars. Yes, you hear me right. Let me give you an example. Suppose a speaker is giving a completely nonsense speech, like the one I am giving right now. Even this, evaluator will come onto the stage and say – What a great speech! And I am amazed to see that every speech given in the Toastmasters meeting is a great speech. The evaluator would say any good words whatever they have on their mind when looking at you. John. You are better than Carrie Lam and just you are a male. If Lee Kuan Yew is alive today, he would be so proud of you and your speech. Oh my God… do we need to do this? Do we really need to lie so much? We can be true to everyone: this is the most worrying and unpleasant speech I have ever heard in my life. All the time when I am hearing it, all the time I am thinking: what a waste of time.Reason number 3. Toastmasters clap and shake hands way too much. In every meeting, I feel like I come here to practice clapping and shaking hands. In fact, I just do this whenever I get this opportunity, and I ask anyone to do the same to me whenever I feel the same. Recently, I attend the office meeting in my internship. Then the boss says now may I have the A team to present us their work? Then I (just gesture clapping and shaking hands) Everyone looks at me amused. The boss is like looking at me and saying from her eyes: are you retarded? What is wrong with you?

Now I have given you three reasons – three valid reasons on why you shouldn’t be a toastmaster. Are you convinced? Thank you for your silent response, as you are still here as my valuable Toastmasters audience. Surely, I myself am not too. It is deep deep in my heart – I know how much it means to me as a toastmaster, how much it has changed me. Toastmasters isn’t just a platform for public speaking. In fact, it is a way of life. So what if we talk a little bit more, at least we are lively and fun to be with. So what if we lie a bit, at the end we encourage the speaker to come and give a speech again. So what we shake hands and clap a bit more, because the sound of applause and the handshake validates you and makes you feel worthwhile.

So when I say why not to be a Toastmaster? All that I mean to say is why NOT to be a Toastmaster.


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