Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Intro to Toastmasters

Tonight was my first meeting at Toastmasters. I bet you are wondering why in the world I am even interested in joining. Well, as most of you know, I went to the training center last year so that I could be home more with Charlie. At first, I was petrified at getting up in front of a crowd. But slowly, it began to get easier and easier. It has slowly turned into a high that I can only describe as "superstar". Let me explain.  The flight attendants who have been flying awhile, well, most of the time, they are trying not to count the tiles in the ceiling. But the new ones coming in, they can make you feel like a "superstar". They want to hear every story. They laugh at most of your jokes.  They hang on to every word  you utter.  That said, I feel I have only scratched the surface. I have only had one class in college on public speaking. And all I can remember learning is how to sweat balls. The training center does not give any special training on how to speak.  So, I feel I have so much to learn.

Enter Toastmasters.  Ever read Jeffery Gitomer's books? He has these great little colorful books filled with cartoons and witty sayings on how to improve yourself. This particular book, Getting Your Way, gives you tips on how to speak. One of his tips is to join Toastmasters. I had to do a search on the internet to find a meeting in my area.  There are 2 of them and one was tonight.  I have to admit, I almost chickened out. I didnt know what to expect. I am glad I decided to do it.  The people were very nice and welcoming. They start out with the business aspects of the meeting and then they go into the speeches. They begin with short impromptu talks around the table and then 2-3 people of various levels of experience get up a present a prepared speech. The first speech was a very advanced speaker who told us a fascinating story of his history. The second speech was a first time speaker who had only been a member 1 month. She was a cute girl from Russia who talked about her life. There is another meeting Friday morning and I thought I would check out as well.  Then I will decide between the two which one I will join.

And although I am scared out of my mind to do this, I think this is a weakness I really want to master. I can only see it as doing wonders for my life. Get ready for me to cross another goal off the list! :)