Finding a Home in the City of Lights

Home is a feeling, not just a place.

Author’s Note: This was my contest piece during the International Speech Contest Area Level Contest, Toastmasters International, Manila on 19 Feb. 2022.

The last time I competed was in 2011 so it felt great joining the contest again. Honestly, I was thinking of backing out a few days before the competition because of lack of preparation time and because a week ago, I did not feel any inspiration to write a speech such that going beyond the first paragraph was so difficult.

I realized that striving to compress one’s so many experiences in 5-7 minutes takes patience and focus on the more essential things. It appears that telling a story in 30 minutes to one (1) hour is easier than creating a piece that will give the core message and narrative in not more than seven (7) minutes.

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