After the topic was announced at the end of the week I went home jittery.
I’ve been chosen to support the main speaker. It looked to me,like a case of consolation for not being in any group or..actually..okay,I remember now..I wasn’t directly chosen as assistant speaker. The whole class had just been divided into groups A and B, I fell into one of them.
I remember vividly how going home,I couldn’t think of anything else but what to say on the topic . I was both excited and horrified at the same time by the possibilty of being called to defend my group. So I started preparing in earnest.
I enlisted the help of my cousin who was quite older and already in high school. I gathered here and there ,put it all together like I was the main speaker and as if that were not enough ,I began to cram my points like the whole contest depended on me!
Eventually the day came.I looked on with admiration at my group’s representatives. Shockingly,they were loosing points fast.. (Actually we didn’t gain much in the first place)
So the time came for bonus points(the floor was thrown open for help from the audience).
At that time, and really till this date, I’m really not sure how my hand shot up so fast.
Also to such gush of adrenalin and my horror I was picked from the pool of hands that came up!
Somehow I got my feet to carry me to the front of the class and for the life of me the following thirty seconds was a wonder ,even to me.
I reeled out my points accurately and effectively. Then went on to argue those points for the side I support and wrapped it all up within the set time!
How I did it? I don’t know. But I remember feeling my heart pound against my chest like a sledge hammer.
My mouth and mind seemed to have taken a life of their own and they worked together in fine harmony like nothing else mattered.
I was back in my seat looking straight back at my teacher and moderator who mirrored my surprise while the thunderous ovation from the entire class lasted.
Because of me that day,my group had a better score to show forth at the end of the competition.
I was glad I prepared after all.
From my diary –
Details of my first public speaking experience (An intra-class elementary school debate).