Below is my second Toastmaster speech. Speech Number 2 – Organize your speech.

The main objectives for this speech are:

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to the message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion
Time: Five to seven minutes:

What to Expect When She’s Expecting

There never is a time when our expectations are so raw and so on the line as the months and weeks leading up to the birth of your new born son or daughter. I would know, I am the proud father to three beautiful daughters. Lili, 13, Eve, 8 and Nalina. In fact I’ve recently become a father again only 5 short months ago. Tonight I want to talk about Expectations and fatherhood and in particular what I’ve learnt about what to expect when she’s expecting. There’s not a lot of literature for men about fatherhood. Men historically have been hands off about the whole pregnancy thing. But the good news is that more and more men are finding that being hands on is exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes best supporting your significant other.


Nalina and Me

Tonight I’m going to impart three lessons that if taken will dramatically improve your chances of survival by 73% to witness the birth of your little one. While that statistic is made up the dangers are real. Warning: The road to the labour ward is littered with the bodies of men with absent minded intentions. Common cause of death? Decapitation. Ok, The three lessons are 1. Expect the unexpected (by appearing prepared). 2. Enjoy the journey and to expect drama. 3. Looking beyond expectations together.

I was nineteen when I first got the news to expect the patter of little feet. I had just gotten married a short three months earlier to my first wife and we were expecting kids one day but to be honest I wasn’t expecting them so soon. Actually it doesn’t matter how old you are, as a man when you get the news the effect is somewhere between a dunking yourself into a cold shower and a deer frozen in the headlights. Because before I was a father I was a man still learning about the world, delivering pizzas in my run down but highly fuel efficient silver Honda civic, going to Uni and doing all night pizza and beer benders with my mates & MarioKart on my Nintendo 64. In effect, many men before they’re fathers, are still boys themselves.

First lesson: Expect the unexpected (by being prepared).

How do you prepare yourself? Read, watch, listen, and learn. Or at least appear to do so. Ask Google. Ask your mum.

In essence it’s all unexpected until you begin getting prepared. Give your partner some peace of mind by quoting facts about her daily folic acid intake and the various safety rating of newborn baby capsules. At every opportunity Hang around babies but don’t appear to stalk them. hold a baby. Check out the opposition and learn to be okay with milky spew and drool because it means they like you. Give yourself peace of mind, that you change a nappy in under 30 secs flat so you can go back to watching the footy.

Learn the names, & addresses and opening times of every continental deli and servo within a fifty km radius  and the quickest route for you to get gerkins, connosiur ice cream and ravioli at 2am in the morning. It’s 15 minutes or less or you will have to go back again for the rest.

Lili and Me

Second Lesson: Enjoy the Ride expect drama.

Pregnancy is a journey, and while it has a destination, it is ever rarely, a straight one. And sometimes it feels like a ride for men, sometimes that ride is a rollercoaster and sometimes that ride is a Ferris wheel of repeat doctors visits and de-ja-vu advice. Sometimes we can have the feeling that we’re just tagging along, because your partner is the one that has to literally go through all the trails and tribulations. But I’ve noticed that journeys are often more fun with a  partner, or with a  small group. Journeys are memorable because of the drama, life has colour because of drama and nothing is more life filled than the months and weeks of a pregnancy.

Lesson 3: Looking beyond expectations, together.

Is it a girl, or a boy. I expect her to be my colour, I hope she has your eyes, I hope she doesn’t have my hips. We expect a lot from ourselves and our abilities to grow and nurture healthy and happy sane babies. Which is stretching the expectations a bit when you start looking at the parents raising them!

Deep down, girl or boy, short or small we all just hope our babies will come out healthy with ten fingers and ten toes.

Life is greater than any expectation. How can two insignificant, small minded humans fully fathom the total immensity & beauty of life? Answer – they can’t. But they can start looking beyond expectations and they can start enjoying it.

So in summary…

  1. Expect the unexpected. 2. Enjoy the Ride. 3. Look beyond expectations.

Becoming a father has changed me completely and made me the man I am today. I am so grateful every single day to the father to my three great daughters, they teach me so much and I am forever grateful they are in my life. Honestly, being a father is beyond all of my expectations, it is so much harder than I ever thought it could be but better than I could ever have imagined.

Eve, Lili and Nalina

Post Note:

Despite some wonderful speeches that night I was awarded “Best Speaker” that night! yay me – again!