Touchy Feet

My next toastmaster speech project is supposed to be a “touching speech,” It’s practicing  how to convey emotion through storytelling. Instead of just saying “Billy felt sad because he wasn’t invited to Joey’s birthday party”, you’d tell the story of Billy watching his friends pass by on their way to Joey’s party and wondering why he wasn’t invited.

I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my touching speech. I thought about telling my Color Me story, about the time the girl at school rudely suggested I use markers to give my hair some color. But then I had a crazy idea. Something that would really push me beyond my comfort zone in a big way.

I could tell the story of that day at the water park when that boy made a scene over my alien feet. I could talk about how ever since then, I have gone to great lengths to hide my feet – not only from strangers, but even from most acquaintances.

The kicker (see what I did there?) of it all would be that I would either walk up to the lectern in my bare feet, or I would wear shoes I could easily slip off to reveal my feet as I told the story.

But I’m not sure…. is it cheating to use my body as a prop? Is it overly dramatic? Would I be able to do it without peeing my pants in front of everyone? I practically hyperventilate at the thought of it, yet that only makes me want to do it more.

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.

What would you do?



  1. You’re such a good writer, Heather. You don’t need to reveal your feet (if it’s too traumatic for you) in order to reveal your feelings and fears.
    You’ll do great!
    Best wishes,

    • Thanks Lisa! I feel like Toastmasters would be a safe place to show my feet, if I was going to do it anywhere. But I also don’t want it to come across like I’m reaching for sympathy or compliments either. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  2. I say leave your shoes on. Good storytellers don’t need visuals. Also, your hands will give your listeners a pretty good idea as to what’s in your shoes.

    • In my Toastmasters group they encourage the use of visuals and body language to help convey messages. I agree that the story should be able to stand alone without visual aids, but I feel like if someone else was doing a speech about their prosthetic leg, (for example), I would want to see it.

      • Ummm … then maybe a pic of you at the beach or something, to show how you got over your fear/shame?

  3. I think that things that push us to the edges of our comfort zone are good for us in the long run. I know you’ve had other experiences in your life that illustrate that point. If you were only interested in being safe and comfortable, you wouldn’t be at Toastmasters to begin with, right?

    To quote my good friends at Nike, “Just Do It!”

  4. Heather, I would agree with Bill. Being pushed out of the comfort zone helps create renewed strength in our own abilities. ❤️

  5. I would be really nervous, but hey, like you and your uncle said….I say go for it…that is one of the reasons you are doing toastmasters…to get you out of your comfort zone. More power to ya. I think it will be more for you than the speech itself.

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