Communication Oops

Sugar Plum Snowflake
Image by CaptPiper via Flickr

2 years ago I was given the privilege to speak in front of BSU’s Communication major freshman class at the Communication Showcase. It was so the real people of honor, the top speakers of the freshman class could be judged by famous community members. As a representative of the speech and debate team my job was to give an impromptu speech (only one minute of prep time for a 7 minute or longer speech). I was handed the sheet with 3 areas to speak on of which I could choose one. As another team mate was presenting about the team, I prepped my speech off of a quotation that dealt with something to the effect of ‘a snowflake is not blamed for an avalanche” .

I got up in front of the 700 students, all the faculty of the Communication department, the dean, and even the University president and started to speak. I gave a great motivational speech on how the right people at the right time can change the course of history. I was on fire, people were listening intently. Then I reached my third point. I was going to give the point about snowflakes being different, and that the specialness of an individual can impact anyone at anytime.

I said “look around and as you see the flakes around you…”. At that point the Dean did a near spit-take, and the whole audience started cracking up. I just called the whole freshman class a bunch of flakes.  It dawned of me what I just did, I had insulted over 700 people in front of the administration.  The only way was forward so quickly I made a joke about it and tied it in to the point I was given by saying something like ‘and just as the person next to you is an individual flake remember that they see you the same way”.

The impromptu speech went very well, and people thanked me for it. Later I was thanked by the host of the event for waking up the audience.  I was asked to give another speech the following year as well.

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