Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Had a Toastmasters meeting tonight and as always, glad I went.  I can honestly say I’ve never regretted going to a single meeting.  There have been quite a few times when I haven’t FELT like going, where I just wasn’t feeling very sociable, very kind, Survivor was on and I just didn’t want to make the 30 minute drive.

Those are the times I needed it the most and was most glad that I went.  There is always a lot of laughter.  If you’re a TM, you already know that.  🙂

Our group is in some sort of transition right now and bizarrely, I find myself one of the senior members.  It’s strange to live the fact that people who have no idea about TM (or me!) accept me as some sort of authority on it now.  It makes me laugh actually.

But the fact is, I am a different woman than when I began and the speaking is the least of it.  The knowing is everything.  The knowing of what you can do…the knowing of what other people think you can do… the experience of doing scary things and having not only lived through it but maybe even enjoying it.

Our group seems to be going through a pruning stage.  Also a bit scary but I hear that’s how ya get the fruit.
And on a related note, that club Facebook page was a flippin’ genius idea and I wish we had done it sooner.  I suggested it to our president last year but she felt that it wasn’t necessary and she isn’t on FB or Twitter so she didn’t really understand or appreciate the power of social networks.  When our VP Membership suggested it at our last exec meeting, I told her to run with it!  I like being the Pres.  🙂

Directly because of this page, a lot of people are planning to come to our Humorous speech and Table Topics contest!  I am seriously psyched!  It will change the entire dynamic of the evening!  It will be a lot more fun.  And there are prospective members there.

We did have 2 guests today and they were both young women in their 20’s which is great because we don’t have a lot of young people, being a retirement town.  TM really needs to attract more young people and I hope our young champ Ryan Avery (age 25!!!) can shift things for us.

Anyway, working working working on The Speech and it’s funny, in the last couple fo days, it morphed into something completely else.  and I liked it at first because I realized that I was finding and using all the tools that the Champs told me about – foundational phrase, paula-isms, holograms, etc.

But then I felt like I had kind of LOST the original ZING and fun that I had loved so much!  I was a bit panicked too because I always just SAVE every new version of a speech.  Every time I change even a WORD, I save it, so by the time I’m done with it, there may only be a skeleton left of the original.

But I liked the original and thankfully, I HAD saved an earlier copy.

Spent about 3 more hours on it tonight, weaving the 2 speeches into each other and liking the result much more.  I was inspired by something that one of the Champs said tonight on an old conference call I listened to:  you have to think about your audience.  You have to cater to THEM and each one is different.  I was thinking District Finals Audience and I didn’t have any business doing that because this audience will be much different and they deserve communication created for THEM.

Yes, it’s a contest speech and certain criteria must be met but for cryin’ out loud, if you can’t make adjustments for your audience what’s the point?