I’d like to forget yesterday. Actually, everything went off well ! I shouldn’t be complaining. I was the chief guest at the Alumni Day at Bangalore Government Dental College. The hall was filled withalumni and interns about to turn alumni.
I’d crafted a fifteen minute speech and was all set. While I was being introduced, an anecdote about dentists came to my mind. And it goes this way…
“My first visit to a dentist was a bit scary. First, I sank into a chair and a masked dentist hovered around menacingly. I got curious and started asking her a lot of questions about how long it would take, will it pain too much , what is this filling and the like. Now, the genial dentist answered all my questions but lost her cool at my fifteenth question and yelled “now, just shut up and open your mouth !”
I thought this would be a great speech opener and took a detour from my prepared script
and started with this anecdote but when it came to the punch line, I messed it by saying “now just shut your mouth, shut your mouth, shut up and open your mouth !” To my luck, the audience got the message, but I felt miserable because the impact would have been much better if I had delivered the punch line with a bit of practice. A seasoned Toastmaster would have noticed my discomfort !
Moral of the story: Practise your punchline !
I then realised the value of Abe Lincoln’s quote – ” Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe”.