Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Finding the Humor in Homebirth
I gave a Toastmaster's speech yesterday on the topic of homebirth. The theme of my speech was "Speaking to Entertain." I had to give an entertaining 15-20 minute speech. I chose the topic of homebirth, because I want to practice talking about it. This was an interesting excercise for me. Previously when I've given a presentation on birth (usually to professional audiences) its been in the form of a persuasive speech or an informational speech. I've never combined this topic with humor before, and it was quite effective. I sprinkled many humerous comments and self-effacing jokes throughout the speech and got a lot of laughs. I think it helped to put the audience at ease (all business women- several in the audience had never given birth) and made the information more palatable for them. I also showed an excerpt from my homebirth video. I think my audience found it particularly moving. At least a couple of women said it was the first birth they had ever seen (that blew me away, since they were older than I am- I think I assumed that most women see births even if not their own.) In the excerpt I showed, I'm standing upright and push my baby out in about 3 pushes while I hold onto my husband's neck who is sitting on our bed. The midwife is behind me squatting to catch the baby. When she emerges, the midwife catches her and passes her between my legs, I grab her, turn around and sit down on the bed and hold her to me. Several of the women came up to me after the meeting to tell me how they were moved by the speech, or about their own birth stories, or about why they made the choices they did, or about how the speech made them rethink things. I relished the opportunity to talk to women about these issues. I think I'd like to do my next speech on birth as it impacts body image after listening to some of their comments.