Tetyana Kisyelova. My Only Weapon

Preamble: With this speech, let me introduce Advanced Communication program. It contains many different directions or spheres in which you can apply your public speaking skills e.g. facilitating discussions or persuasive speeches. I decided to start with Public Relations manual. Below is my first project from this manual which is a goodwill speech about Toastmasters International. The goal of it is to provide useful information on the subject of public speaking. The purpose of a goodwill speech is to build the public’s favorable feeling toward the organization you present. This kind of speech is not a sales pitch or heavy-handed attempt to persuade. You need to provide audience members with information helpful to them in their lives and hope that, in turn, several of them will eventually buy your product. You can mention the organization only occasionally.

My Only Weapon

Owning guns is forbidden in Ukraine. Now I will teach you about a special weapon which you will carry with you, even ladies. I touched a real gun for the first time at school at a military training. All, boys and girls had to disassemble a Kalashnikov and then assemble it back. Our military teacher instructed us that we had to handle it correctly otherwise «летательный исход» would happen. I am not sure if my military teacher was a sharp shooter but he was a poor speaker and I didn’t like his lessons.

I liked literature. I learned that not always weapon is made of steel. Sometimes it is made of a special substance you cannot see or smell. Lesia Ukrainka, a Ukrainian poet, found her weapon and her sword in her words. Although she was feeble and sick, her poems were sharp and well-structured with beginnings, body and conclusions. She knew well how to research her topics and inspire.

My only weapon, dear word that I cherish,
We must ensure that not both of us perish!
Other blades also shall join it to bring
New days when speeches of free men will ring.
Mighty avengers my sword shall inherit,
With it they’ll race to do battle with merit…

Free men inherited it the sword from Lesia. In the gloomy February of 2014 another Ukrainian girl Yulia told the whole world the truth about her people. “I am a Ukrainian, a native of Kiev. Now, I am on Maidan. I want you to know why thousands of people are on the streets. They want to be free from a dictatorship. They want to be free from the politicians who are ready to shoot, to beat, to injure people”. The girl was confident, she kept eye contact and she persuaded her audience. People all over the world supported Ukrainians.

Word or human utterance is superpower. We need to learn how to handle this weapon properly. I always carry my sword with me. I mean my public speaking skills. I learn how to master this skill in Toastmasters. It comes handy in many life situations: at work or even at home. For example, I can use it sometimes, to convince why it is better to go to a theatre than to a cinema.

Last year I even won a big battle with my sword – I became a champion of Ukrainian public speakers. The competition coincided with last days of my pregnancy. In my speech, I compared delivering speeches with delivering babies I and used my baby as my visual aid. I turned my weakness into my advantage. and won. These are the words from my speech.

“In the beginning you will think that nothing changes, but you will find the right words. They will combine into beautiful sentences. Your voice will become strong and loud and you will think that there’s nothing more wonderful in this world than your speech, and you will feel eternal happiness. But only those who in the radiance of their highest success can feel the chillness of dissatisfaction can achieve a distinguished station.”

My daughter is growing. She plays with my prize and she plays with a sword that belongs to her brother. Hopefully, when she is at school, military lessons will give way to public speaking lessons and when she is grown she will need no weapon except for the power of word, the mightiest weapon. Carry it with you, master it and become a winner in your battles.

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