Tonight I attended a 'Toastmasters' meeting and was quite enlightened. What encouraged me to attend in the first place was a book I read called 'How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling' by Frank Bettger. My coaching business is my passion but I must admit that I'm not passionate about selling it. One of the chapters suggested joining a public speaking course to raise my self-confidence so 'Toastmasters' here I am.
Let me preface this entry by saying I HATE and eschew public speaking. I don't like attention, especially when I have the attention of many people. I'm a one-on-one kind of girl. So, why do I subject myself to such torture? Because my reasons for attending far outweigh the negative emotions I feel when I think about public speaking. My reasons are:
1. I have a vision. I have a lot to say. I want to help people and I can't do that if I'm always hiding.
2. I'm competitive. I'm a fan of overcoming my fears and I couldn't let fear have one over me.
3. I value deep connections. When I improve my public speaking, I'll be able to connect with people on deeper level much more quickly and more powerfully.
Tonight was fascinating! The theme was 'Extraordinary People.' And my hats off to them, I believe all the people in that room were extraordinary. I LOVED this meeting! It made me really think....in a good way. I love thinking. I got a lot of great new ideas!
First, there's a 'word of the day.' The word of the day was 'eschew.' This means to keep clear of or abstain from, to avoid. Fellow toastmasters can use the word of the day in their speech to improve their talk. Looking for ways to use this word had my brain dancing. I was impressed by how many people used this word.
Next were some great quotes from Tonie Wellington, the Toastmaster, on extraordinary people.
These are keepers!
"Extraordinary people know that confidence comes from not always being right but from not fearing being wrong." - I love this quote because I have this thing with trying to do things perfectly so this keeps me from trying new things sometimes. I feel empowered when I think that I'm extraordinary by not fearing being wrong but by welcoming any learning.
"Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it."
"Extraordinary people welcome feedback because they know that when you have the opportunity to be corrected, you have the opportunity to learn something new."
After their great quotes, table topics were presented. These are topics in line with the theme. You have a few minutes to give an impromtu speech about a given topic. The three table topics were:
1. Talk about an extraordinary person in history that has had the most impact on your life.
2. Which entertainer has had the most influence in your life.
3. Which family member has had the most influence over you.
These people had me thinking so hard! How would I answer these questions? I'm still thinking.
And that was just the beginning. The speeches were incredible! The most memorable was the cooking to entertain speech. I remember him saying that the 3 ingredients to a good evening was good mood, good groove, and good food. He really brought the story to life and made me so hungry after his speech. He actually made public speaking look fun. It could be very informative, engaging, and valuable. It doesn't have to be a death sentence (my thoughts). It could be light and airy like an artist masterfully dotting her canvas with paint playfully bringing to life a scene in Yosemite of the sheer cliffs of El Capitan with whispy clouds in the backdrop.
I could say more about the meeting but there would be so much to say. My point in writing is to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and get some bright new ideas. Get out of your routine and try something different. Get a change of perspective. I am so glad I did! I have been intellectually stimulated and challenged :-) I'm playing a bigger game.
What will you do this week to expand your world and play a bigger game with your life?
Taste and see the wonders of this world :-) Thoughts?