Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.
I didn’t know what to expect. Warmly greeted , I was sat next to a member who told me I had made it just because I got through the door. They would be my guide through the night. A President opened the meeting and handed over to the Toastmaster for the night and it all seemed very formal. Role holders were introduced a grammarian, General Evaluator and Timekeeper. Then the real speaking began with a warm up.
The warm up started and everyone was given 15 seconds to speak if they wished on the topic given by the Warm up master. What followed was people laughing , being open and making fun of themselves or sharing experiences.
It then proceeded to prepared speeches. 3 members gave wildly different but interesting speeches and I was hooked. The interval came and I was approached to see if I wanted to take part in Table topics and I thought why not give it a go.
When the second half started the prepared speeches were each given an evaluation of their speech from another member and then it came came the time for Table Topics. I was first up and had to speak for 1 to two minutes on my favourite childhood memory. If you had asked me and hour earlier if I would have done this I would have said no way! I didn’t even speak at my own Wedding and we only had 15 guests! And I did ok, I wouldn’t say great , but what an experience!
The meeting ended and the members were friendly and encouraging . I had found a place where I could practice and learn . I had a feeling that I have had many times since ,that I couldn’t wait to try again and see where this takes me.