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Transcription of Elevation Speech for Anastasia Del Monte for the Master of Defense

This was one of those speeches that I had a framework for going into court, but it was not written down or rehearsed in advance. I knew the beginning and the end, and I had the base idea I wanted to embed in the middle of the speech, then I noodled my way into connecting the beginning to the base idea, expounding on the base idea and then moving from that exposition into to the conclusion. It works because the conclusion is strong and I can sell the speech with personal magnetism. It is remembered by others in the room as being one of the better speeches of the day for those reasons. That said, looking at it logically once it has been transpired, it is a mediocre speech with many run on sentences, and I injected myself too much. Don’t do this at home, kids.
My piece starts at 8:05.

"I am Countess Marguerite Ingean Lachlainn, (Bows to the Crown). A Lady of the Rose is supposed to speak about Courtesy, but today I am going to speak about melee.
Fair warning, Anastasia and I are cadet sisters, I am not going to make it through this without crying. We have both been cadets to Master Donovan who hates melee. He will do it for his crown, but by god he lives on the single tournament field. We (gestures to Anastasia) live and breathe what it is like to feel the adrenaline rush though our veins as we destroy the Dragon that is in front of us. (Now I am going to cry). Anastasia has a way of commanding on the field, and you (to the audience) don’t know this because usually when I am on the field she lets me command, but when I am not on the field she end up commanding, and she thinks that I do not see what she is doing when she is out there commanding, so let me set her straight. Anastasia has a way of commanding that allows the fighters under her command to retain their personal agency. She says “Go over here… except I know you, and you are not going to follow my orders, so… I want you to flank. I want you, because you are tentative, to take the middle and I want you to push forward, because you will have these two heavy fighters on your either side, they are crossovers, and I know that they will not fall and so you will not fall because I know that I have you in mind when I put you in the center of the line”…. And this person here, I know that they are tentative about being on the left, so I will put them on the right.
She has a way of making sure, when she commands, that every person on the field can do their best because she has an eye out for the kingdom and for the skills that each person shows and reveals. Actually, in retrospect, I think I have spoken about courtesy after all.
Anastasia, you are my Peer.
Your Majesties, she is my Peer, and I commend her to you."

Length 2 minutes 35 seconds

Good:

  • It was moving.  The king and queen got emotional.  So did I for a second. 
  • It was short.  I had not been told 2 minutes by the herald, but with 5 speakers this is where modern peerage speech limits are going.  I was aiming for that.
  • I was loud.  Anastasia heard me.  The Crown heard me. The Populace heard me in the back of the open air hall.  Yes, on the recording my voice sounds harsh.  The perception of “harshness” is a cultural side effect of a woman’s voice speaking loud enough for everyone to hear and understand her.   If I had spoken smoothly and melodiously (I can when I want to, I have the skill) the populace at the back of an open air hall would not have been able to hear me.  Making sure everyone can hear is more important than leaving the impression of a low voiced, politely spoken Rose.
  • I let the court know what the candidate will bring to the Society as a Peer.  It was a story about Anastasia’s skills and why they are valuable to the Society, and why they relate to the virtue I was representing.
  • I transposed ideas that were startling and attention grabbing: A lady of the Rose speaking as a Lady of the Rose refuses to speak about courtesy.  That was immediately attention grabbing, and funny.  It was also appropriate.  I am a rapier commander, the candidate is a rapier commander and the sitting Queen is a rapier commander.   There are few times I can get away with doing it, but this was one of them. 
  • I concluded strongly:  after starting with I am not going to give you what you want, I then turned it back around and gave the audience and the ritual actually what it demanded, a Rose speaking as a Rose about courtesy, and I did it in a way that made people think about what Courtesy means in the society.

Bad:

  • For a short 2 minute speech. I still overshot by 35 seconds.
  • OMG run on sentences!  I should have thought through or rehearsed the section about how Anastasia commands at least once, out loud, before going on stage, so I could hear myself put the sentences together, how one word flowed from the next word, and find the linguistic word traps that made me struggle to finish the sentences.
  • It was too much about me.  I kept emphasizing that I was going to cry any minute, and the middle rambly bit was about how I commanded troops on the field.  Mentioning being a commander does explain why I want to talk about melee, so that at least puts the whole conversation in context.  Mentioning that we have a Don in common highlights my relationship to her, and why I am speaking, but there is not really a _need_ to explain my relationship to her & therefore my right to speak.  The Crown called for a Rose, and I am the Rose; I get to speak.  Explaining I am going to cry, plus I command troops, plus this is my relationship to her?  That’s a lot of mentions of me in 2 in a half minutes of talking about why Anastasia is a Peer of the Society.
  • I should have written it in advance.  Even if I did not memorize it, I should have written it in advance and read it through a dozen times before attempting to speak.   This would have allowed me to see how much of myself was in it and minimize that aspect.  Twice I said I was going to cry.  Each time it was because I was stalling for time, waiting for the next thought to come to me coherently.

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