- Prepare a speech that opens with a humorous story
- Personalize the story
- Deliver the story smoothly and effectively
Time limit: 5 to 7 minutes with a minimum qualification time of 4 minutes 30 seconds and a maximum time of 7 minutes 30 seconds.
I shall do it
Kumbhakarna slept for 6 months in a year. I am going to talk about a guy who just sleeps for 6 hours a day, but 10 hours at night!!
Fellow Toastmasters and guests.
It was an auspicious day and the time was 5 AM. The entire family had gathered at Chennai to witness the warming of my uncle’s new house at Anna Nagar. Every one of us including our cab driver was ready to travel from T Nagar to Anna Nagar to enjoy the occasion. But there was one guy who wasn’t ready and that was my uncle’s son Arvind. When we tried to wake him up in the morning, he said “I have an important coaching class at 7 o clock which I cannot skip. You guys carry on and I would be there by 9”.
We all said good bye to Arvind and carried on with our plans. The house warming started and was going on very well. Suddenly my uncle had a doubt. He asked me to call Arvind and find out what he is doing. I called him, he didn’t attend. I called him again, he didn’t attend. After 6-7 attempts, he finally attended the call and said [in a drunken voice]“Force = mass x acceleration” and disconnected the call. Oh my god!! “Uncle he seems to be sleeping!!”. We tried again and again to reach him through phone and tell him that he is actually sleeping, but all in vain. That is when my eldest cousin, Murali and I took a step forward and said, “Don’t worry uncle, we will take the cab, go back to T Nagar, wake him up and bring him here”.
The time was 7:30 AM and we set out on our exciting mission – “Awaken Arvind”. We went back and found that the house was locked from inside and Arvind had also locked himself up inside an air conditioned cosy bed room. Ahwww!! What a Herculean task it is to wake this guy!! As a part of the mission “Awaken Arvind” Murali and I made several plans.
PLAN A – This plan was suggested by the Murali. “Gautam…Arvind is sleeping tight because the room is comfortable and air conditioned. Why not turn the mains off and make it uncomfortable for him so that he would start sweating wake up soon”. I looked at him and exclaimed… “What a great idea Sir Ji!!”!! We quickly went downstairs and turned off the main switch. We came back and stood near the main door of the house. Murali was proud at the idea he made and raised his eye brows, signalled me that Arvind would be awake in another few minutes. We waited… 5 minutes passed … nothing happened…. 10 minutes passed… nothing happened… 15 minutes passed… we heard the screeching sound of a door opening. But we were shocked… because, the sound was from the opposite house… our neighbour, an old man opened the door and came out of his house He told in a faint voice, Senseless Chennai electricity board. Cutting power supply on a Sunday morning!!!”. Oh god, we had cut down the power supply of that poor old man’s house in an attempt to awaken Arvind. Plan A, miserably failed.
After many such plans that faced a collateral damage, we decided to make one more try… the last try… We collected all the utensils, spoons, chapatti makers whatever was available in Murali’s house. We went to Arvind’s place and through the kitchen window, started throwing these utensils one by one at the bedroom door, where Arvind was sleeping. I told Murali “Machan… with these skills, you should’ve joined Indian Archery team… How do you manage to aim properly and throw them all exactly at the same point… i.e., the floor… none of your throws landed on the bedroom door”. He turned around and gave me a strange look. We had almost emptied all the available utensils. Nothing worked. We failed.
They were about to give up, go back and tell uncle that his son sleeps beautifully. It was then the bedroom door slowly opened. Arvind came out rubbing his eyes. On seeing Murali and me standing outside, he exclaimed “Hey Murali and me. What a surprise to see you here. What are you doing here at this hour. You guys didn’t go to the function? And hey you know what, I guess there is some cat or rat in the house. Because there are lots of utensils lying around!”. Murali replied, “Yes Arvind, the cat is me and the rat is Murali . Come on get ready, we will tell you the whole story during the drive”.
And when Arvind heard the story, he couldn’t stop himself from rolling on the floor and laughing. Not at what he did, but laughing at how Murali and I planned his awakening.
Max Kaufman once said, “The amount of sleep required by an average human being is 5 minutes more”. Arvind is a living epitome of this quote. Even today, the biggest challenge for someone in my family is to “Awaken Arvind”, my beloved cousin.