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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux


I'm giving a research speech to my Toastmasters club on Tuesday. I was hoping for some leeway with the timeline (most Toastmasters speeches are five to seven minutes), but they emphasize the key to picking a research topic is to make it narrow enough to fit within the time.

I always think my speeches are too long and I'm going to go over time, but somehow I cram ten minutes of speech into five minutes' time. Am I speaking too fast? Do I get nervous and leave things out? Whatever the case, I've been told I speak fast, but not too fast. I've even been told my speech cadence is engaging because of the pace.

I've timed this speech three times at just below ten minutes. Can I shave almost three minutes off the top? Probably, if I stop rambling about side-topics. I give a brief history of my publishing journey, from twenty years ago when I shopped my first novel to agents, to ten years ago when I started looking into micro-presses, to the scandals of the last five years, to today. I probably don't need to talk about vanity presses of yesteryear, such as PubliSHAMerica, or detail the class-action lawsuit against the big five, or even delve into the RWA/DSP debacle. Things will go more smoothly if I leave it out.

Maybe I should have researched aliens.

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