Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Project 5, Your Body Speaks

- Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech's purpose.
- Make your body language smooth and natural

Time: 5 to 7 minutes

Excuse Me, Are You My Mr Right?

Good evening Club President, District Officers, fellow toastmasters, friends and guests,

Anyone here who has idols, raise your hand. I see that most, if not all have idols.

Now, I want you to pause a well and think. Are most of your idols of the same sex as you or of the opposite sex? The second one?

Idols are usually people whom we worshipped because they symbolize the qualities that we want our significant half to possess. These are the qualities we will wish for, crave for, yield for, but our significant half does not have. And of course, as we grow older, we will come to accept this. BUT not when we are young and have lots and lots of options.

When I was in my teens, I had lofty standards for my Mr Right. During my time, we had the four heavenly kings in the Chinese pop scene and they encapsulated the qualities that my boyfriend should have. He should have the ah…. so handsome look of Leon Lai (hum a tune from his song “Would you come tonight”), the floppy hair of Aaron Kwok (imitate - toss head and sweep hair like), the muscular body of Andy Lau and the so rich and soulful voice of Jacky Cheung (Goodbye Kiss). That was a tall order. And yes, if Mr Obama were the incoming US-President then, my would-be boyfriend must have Obama’s charisma – “Hello Chicago. (Cheer) Tonight, change has come to America. (Cheer.) Yes, we can”.

Not that I had a chance to have, I was in an all-girls school then. When I was in my late teens and in junior college, I had to be immersed in a co-ed environment – no more all girls but boys and girls. My mother would always tell me in a condesending manner that "Studies come first, dear." And I was also taught that girls never, ever make the first move. With my mother’s teachings ingrained in me, I would wilt at the first hint of any spotlight from boys on me. But deep inside me, I would want very much to have a boyfriend.

So when there was a Mandarin Variety Show “Perfect Match”, I jumped onto the opportunity. It may seem strange but knowing that these people did not really know who I was gave me the courage to take part in it. On top of it, I would be barely recognizable with the thick layers of cosmetics when I appeared in the show.

About the show - each week, three males – M1, M2 and M3 and three females – F1, F2 and F3 would be invited. They would be “matched” by heaven – by drawing lots. The three couples would then vie against each other by spinning the wheel of fortune which determined their GT - Get-Together score. Though, on hindsight Gambling Team seemed to be the more appropriate term. The couple with the highest score will be the Perfect Match. In any case, all participants were winners as the minimum prize was a $250 bag voucher and there was also a lottery price of $1,000 cold, hard cash for the really lucky pair.

I sought my mother’s permission to take part in the programme under the guise of being able to net a handsome sum just by participating. And I was surprised that there was little resistance from her. As I was not a glib-tongued speaker I suspected that she was getting concern about me being an old-hag. There was then much publicity in the news of graduate women being left on the shelves as they studied too much and lacked the very important and crucial social skills to get hitched.

So Perfect Match I went. The night before the show, I was so excited to meet my Prince Charming that I only managed an hour of shuteye as I tossed, turned and twisted my legs like a pretzel. As a result, I was bleary-eyed and looked frazzled when I was on air. Luckily for me, the guys were my type. None of them had all the qualities that my idols possessed added up together. So, I supposed it did not matter.

I had my grand prize - a $250 bag voucher and $500 cash. With the voucher, for the first time in my life, I bought my mother a branded wallet. And the $500 cash? I splurged a portion of it to buy more of my idols’ music albums and saved the rest. More importantly, I have learnt that to lower my standards. Probably, that is the main reason why I am happily married today.

Toastmaster of the Evening.


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