After an intense two-day crash course on the art of speech-making, I have discovered some things. One is that the spoken word lends a certain amount of security compared to the written. It’s so easy to make overblown generalisations and toss statistics about when you know people aren’t likely to Google it and point out your mistakes. Second is that people reveal a lot about themselves to other people and themselves when put in a spot. Because, as a senior facilitator said, it’s our stream of consciousness (!! :D) talking. Third, this opening-3 points-conclusion structure is kind of addictive…resists…fourth…point….

Fourth, much as learning to speak off the cuff without feeling like your heart is about to barrel right through your ribcage is  useful, I still prefer the privilege of verbosity and the privacy of writing.

In any case, here’s a very rough transcript of one of my speeches – whatever I can remember. It sounds a bit awkward ugh but still I am particularly pleased with the concept and effort so I’m putting it here (after the jump) for keeps.

So over the past two days we heard a lot about the magic of travel. Wanderlust. Travelling alone. Beaches. Escaping on holiday. Well I’ve got a little travel secret of my own – one that lets me go on the cheapest holidays in the world. I’m going to tell you what it is. But before I do, let me share a few stories.

One time I visited a castle. It’s huge, it’s really beautiful and it’s by the ocean. The ocean is calm, and it glitters gold in the sunlight, especially when the sun is rising. If you look carefully sometimes you see mermaids jumping through the surface. The castle is surrounded by lush forests – in there are animals that can talk. The castle has got two queens and two kings in it.

Another time I met this one really hot guy. He’s a member of the British aristocracy – some kind of duke. He’s rich, he’s handsome…he’s got acres and acres of land. He’s got a stable of horses. He rides horses like the wind and he’s an amazing swordsman. He’s really smart too… reads lots of philosophical works. We fell in love for a while. And then I moved on because there really are a lot of hot guys out there.

Then I met this woman. Her name is Virginia. She’s so interesting and she taught me so much! Nobody understands the human psyche like Virginia does. She told me this one thing which I thought was really profound – “You cannot find peace by avoiding life”. Isn’t that beautiful? She’s really cool too – hangs out with famous economists…you might have heard of this one –  John Maynard Keynes?

So here’s my secret….my books. Reading! Reading under the cosy light of my bedside lamp. Just diving right in and escaping from the world. 

So there you have it. The cheapest holiday in the world! I hear you can even do it electronically nowadays. Even cheaper. In any case, anytime you need a travel buddy, you know you’ve got me. Thank you!