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(This is initially a speech delivered for the Competent Communicator Manual of Toastmaster International. My Basic Speech 10)

Main objective of Speech 10 is to Inspire Your Audience — This is the last of ten speeches, which challenges the speaker to draw all their skills together to deliver a powerful inspirational message.

I chose my Father’s story for this speech.


I was not delivered unto this World in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins.  I will hear not those who whine and complain, for their disease is contagious.  The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

Ladies and Gentlemen that was an excerpt from one of the greatest and most encouraging oratorical piece that I ever read; that was written by Mr. Og Mandino.

Fellow Toastmaster, friends and guests good afternoon; Persist, Strive, Tough it Out, Persevere, Hang On, Hold On and Keep Going, a wise individual might tell you. But, darn it! It is so easy to quit, to say “I can’t do it” or to even think that it is impossible. It is easy to limit yourself according to what society thinks of you.

I am just a student; I am inexperienced and my knowledge is not enough.

I am nothing but a woman; and I have physical limitations and emotional challenges.

I am human; I make mistakes.

Ladies and Gentlemen it is okay to know your strengths and weaknesses but to start your day with limitations is a big mistake. One must always remember to never give up, never give up and yes, never give up.

My father is a man of few words but with those unsaid words he taught us (me and my siblings) the value of not giving up.

My father is the eldest and he has 6 younger siblings. He is the first son of a farmer and a housewife. They used to live in a very small bahay-kubo where they had the same area for eating, sleeping doing home works and everything.

Despite all these, my father grew like any other kid. He was a happy kid but he has to mature in a very young age. Because after graduating from elementary, my grandparents, my father’s parents told him that they can no longer afford to send him to school.

At that time my father knew very much the importance of education. He knew that they were poor and getting a diploma in order to work was their only way up.

So, he asked his uncle who was then a priest to sponsor him in his education. His uncle said “yes” but in one condition. He has to help his parents and support his 6 siblings in their education.  My father was so young then to accept a huge responsibility but he said “yes.”

So at the age of twelve, my father moved from the comfort of their home and went to the city to continue his education.

Four years in High School had passed and continuing into college was a greater challenge. Embarrassed to seek help from the same sponsor, this time he asked assistance from his auntie who was then a dean of a nursing college.

In college, my father worked part-time in a hospital. To support my father in his education, his auntie gave him some allowance every now and then. However, his siblings started attending High School and his parents needed as much support as my father can offer.

In order to save, my father used to walk 5 kilometers every day from his boarding house to the university. And, my father only ate two varieties of meals – it is either rice with water & salt to taste or rice with water, malunggay & salt to taste.

My father graduated college and with his work he was able to support his parents and siblings. I am very proud to say that my aunties and uncles (my father’s siblings) are all professionals; and my grandparents now have a two-story concrete house.

What was my father’s motivation you may ask. My mother told me this story when I was in High School. There was a moment while my father was in college when he became a changed man. He was sitting on a bench outside the office of his auntie. It was dawn. My father was waiting for the allowance that will be given to him by his auntie. While waiting, my father had some time to think about his life and all his struggles and sacrifices.

From there he made a promise, not to his siblings, but to his future children (to me and my brothers). He made a promise that he will never ever let his children experience what he had experienced.

I am more than grateful that my father had thought about us despite our in-existence at that time. And no words can express my gratitude that for four years my father Persisted, Striven   Persevered, Hanged On and Kept Going.

I and my brothers are living a very comfortable life. And from this “comfy” lifestyle comes every sacrifices of my father.

So, now I’ll make a promise that I will not let my children experience what their grandfather had experienced. And allow me to quote Og Mandino again by saying,

So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles on success; if I persist long enough I will win.


Other related posts which you may be interested in reading:

When I Was A Kid (Toastmasters: Basic Speech 8)

A Creative Fight (Toastmasters: Basic Speech 9)

Toastmasters: A Love Story