Night Two of Toastmasters
After I went to Toastmasters for the first time on June 1st, I missed the next meeting because I was out of town camping with friends. I went the following week on June 15th though. After the first meeting and discovering how scary and difficult this was going to be, I was nervous to come back. What if I got called on as a guest to do a Table Topics impromptu speech?
When we arrived at the meeting, we were a little late so my dad rushed in without me, and I took a little longer and came in a little later. When I walked into the room, Marcy was excited to see me and said “Oh yay Brittany!” with a big smile. Carol said “Hi Brittany!” with a friendly smile, and I felt welcome and was pleased that they remembered my name. Marcy also noticed that I had cut 10 inches off my hair since the last time I came to Toastmasters, as I donated it the day I left for camping. (see new profile pic) She said it looked very cute and I thanked her.
The meeting started off with introductions and the word of the day, and then the jokes. Then, it was time for table topics. I was more nervous than the last time because I knew there was a possibility of getting picked.
As a guest to Toastmasters, participating is optional. You can sit there and observe all you want before you’re ready to give it a shot. I had been planning to agree to do it if I was asked this week, but luckily for me the Table Topics leader ran out of time and I didn’t have to be faced with the question of whether I wanted to try or not.
This table topics was a role-playing scenario where you played a dentist I believe and were told that you had to confront an imaginary client about something. It seemed really hard and I honestly couldn’t think of anything to say since I didn’t really understand the scenario and was glad I wasn’t picked. The people who were picked did a really great job though and many of them had us laughing really hard. After that, there were two speeches that were interesting to listen to and both did a good job.
At the end of the meeting, guests are asked to make comments about the meetings. My dad told the group that we were both going to join, and everyone clapped and smiled at us and welcomed us aboard. When it was my turn, I asked the Presiding Officer if I could ask a question instead of make a comment, and he said go ahead. I looked at the different people in the room and asked if any of them were scared when they first joined, and Marcy, an excellent speaker, said oh yeah, and Houston, the elderly spunky lady who’s an amazing speaker, said even though she grew up with public speaking because both of her parents were speakers, table topics absolutely terrified her. I was surprised and said that they’re all really great speakers and if they’re nervous at all it’s impossible to tell. I expanded on my question some more saying how I felt pretty intimidated because everyone here is already so skilled at speaking in front of groups, and they reassured me that they’d been coming here for many years now.
When the meeting was adjourned, Houston came over to me and talked to me one on one about my question and I felt like we made a real connection. She suggested that I use my young age as a theme and play to that like she does with her age being the oldest member in the group. With a mischievous smile and a twinkle in her eye she told me about how great it is being old. She said she can get away with so many things because people will just wave her off as a cooky old lady, which made me laugh. She is very happy and I admire her spunk and enthusiasm.
It was a good night even though the only time I spoke then was during the breaks and at the end of the meeting, and when I asked my question. I’d had the question in my mind beforehand as I was hoping even just asking a question before the group would give me some practice speaking to the group, and I’m glad I asked because I think it showed people that I’m eager to hear from them and that I’m an approachable person.