Gazpacho. It sounded so exotic to me that it would never come to my mind it was something I could make myself. And indeed, its preparation required a piece of equipment I had never used before. But the 4-Hour Chef asked me to make it, so I did.
After ordering and carefully unpacking the blender, buying unpacking the ingredients, reading the blender instructions to use, re-reading the recipe in the cooking book, I got to business. I opened the can of diced tomatoes, cut the red bell pepper, removed the seeds from the cucumber, added two cloves of garlic, olive oil, balsamico, salt and black pepper to the blending vessel. I put on the lid, pressed the switch, turned the blender’s control wheel to “max”, held it there for 30 seconds and the result was: Gazpacho! Surprisingly delicious, if you ask me – for what was in fact blended tomatoes and vegetables.
I made a “tick” next to the “Gazpacho” project and thought I was done with it. In about a week, I felt like having it again. I reproduced the prep process perfectly. Just this time, it went a bit faster.
Then I was cooking for a little dinner party. I had to double the volume, going in two batches. “Why not experiment a little,” I thought. I processed the second batch with blender only at 50% speed to keep the pieces larger. And I doubled the amount of garlic. Just for the fun of it. It turned out I liked the second version more.
“What happens if I don’t remove the seeds from the cucumber?” I wondered the next time. And: “What if I try to add as little olive oil as possible?” Making it once allowed me to “complete” the project. But there was (and still is) a lot to learn about gazpacho.
With speeches it’s no different.
Most people in Toastmasters struggle to write a speech. They deliver it in a club meeting when it’s barely presentable – and then forget it. That’s a shame.
Why not work a speech like a gazpacho recipe. Tinker with the main ingredients. Change the seasoning. Change the way you mix it all together. Not only will you learn more about the speech, you will also learn more about what it’s made of.
The only difference is, while your friends and loved ones may enjoy different versions of gazpacho with you, hearing the 10th version of your speech might get a bit tiring for them.
Well then… Why not change the audience?