Monday, June 11, 2012
When I was in my last semester of grad school, my Leadership professor had us write in our personal journal what our post graduation plans were. One of mine was to join Toastmasters.
After a false start (the first meeting I tried to attend was non-existent, I know I was at the right place because another lady was there too) I found a group in my area. It's small, about 10-15 people, but I like the structure. The meeting starts at 6:30p, and they START at 6:30p. None of this chitchatting around until someone timidly asks, "Should we start?"
I attended three meetings, which you can do for free, then signed up last week. I got thrown right into being assigned my Icebreaker speech, which is a 4-6 minute speech introducing yourself.
This week at work is a CRAZY week (major golf tournament going on) and I got out late. I did e-mail the president of the club to let her know I was running late, and she was very gracious. I got there about ten minutes late, barely had time to catch my breath, and then she was introducing me.
Now, I had started thinking about what I was going to say before I even joined, so I had plenty of time to practice. I also don't really have a fear of public speaking, since I had to get over that in school with all the presentations. But I know my communication and leadership skills can be improved, and this is a fairly inexpensive way to do it.
My evaluator said the only thing I could have done differently was come out from behind the lectern a bit to show that I was at ease. She said I was confident, smiled easily, and my speech was clearly organized.
That was fun! Maybe after CRAZY work week is over I can start thinking about my next speech.