It’s official! I’m going back to Toastmasters…

Next Wednesday, I return to Toastmasters with the goal of finishing the Competent Communicator Manual which consists of 10 different types of presentations. Last night, I filled out the application and corresponded with our local club’s President.

Toastmasters, here I come… again!

2009

Nine years ago, I gave a particularly bad speech. It was really awful! I still cringe thinking about it.

My then boss asked me to give a briefing with two days to prepare. I was new to the topic, had not briefed in years, and was not ready to brief the material.

The night before the presentation, I had something close to a panic attack. I broke down and cried the ugliest of tears. I dreaded that briefing with every fiber of my being. I barely slept. I woke up exhausted. I drove to work in a fog.

adult alone black and white blur

When I walked into the room, 20 people stared at me. Within 30 seconds, I could feel the nervousness growing inside me with every word. My face turned bright red. I started sweating profusely. My mind went blank. Silence.

My boss was sitting in the far right corner quietly watching his employee turn to mush. I asked him if he would like to take over. The visitors shifted in their seats uncomfortably. They glanced at each other wondering what was going on. Much to my dismay, he said no. I had no choice but to struggle through the briefing. I survived. Barely.

The next week, I signed up for Toastmasters. I vowed that I would never humiliate myself and my employer again. I attended a local Toastmaster’s Club every Thursday night for 6 months. Before every meeting, I doubled up on deodorant. I began counting uhs and ummmms, participated in table topics, and gave my first Ice Breaker speech. When the club changed locations, I stopped going since the new facility was too far away. With the club gone, I fell back into my old habit of avoidance. The few briefing skills I had went dormant.

2018

My All Things Great project has inspired me to try again. With a three day public speaking course under my belt as of this week, and a few briefings here and there since 2012, I am more determined than ever to finish the competent communication manual. For details on this manual, see Toastmasters Speech Series: Your Guide to the First 10 Speeches.

Toastmasters, here I come… again!

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