I haven't given any more speeches yet, but I'd still like to blog about the happenings in my Toastmasters club for the sake of posterity. It's fun to go online and go through my own archives to read about my own stories, and the less I write about my days, the less I remember, so here I am, and here you are, so let's get down to it.
As of Friday, February 19, I have been given the responsibility of managing our club's website. I have taken this job and ran with it! My first assignment was to design a new logo, and my sister Bettina helped a bunch by being my brainstorming partner. Together we used the graphics program Adobe Illustrator CS4 to create 14 different designs, and then we picked the winning logo by seeing which got the greatest response. Here it is:
I also greatly improved the club's website by filling up the F.A.Q. page, taking it from 0 questions to 12 questions, and I added a few links that relate to public speaking in the main menu, after researching many different Toastmaster club websites to see how they do things. I am learning so much by being my club's Webmaster, and I can see how this position can be made to shine bright on my resume someday. ^_^ To check out the site, click this link: http://beaconpoint.freetoasthost.biz.
On Saturday, February 27, Bettina and I went to a big Toastmaster's event in our town, and listened to the best Toastmaster speakers in our Area. A member from our club, Mike Borrone, was there representing our club, and we came to support him and listen to him speak along with all the other Master Communicators. It was a swell to-do, and we rubbed shoulders with some fine people. My sister and I were the youngest Toastmasters members in the place, but that didn't matter in the least because we were treated just like any other respected adult. It was such a cool experience.
Today, Bettina and I brought a couple of guests to the meeting: my mom's friend Ruth and her 8-year-old son Eiza (in Toastmasters you can be any age and be a guest, but you have to be at least 18 to join a club). It's for a contest we're holding all month to see which member can bring in the most guests, and the winner will get a $20 gift card. Bettina and I are sharing the credit for our guests, so if we win we'll share the prize-money too ^_^.
Anyway, today we had other guests at our meeting besides Ruth and Eiza. One of them was a Toastmaster's member who belonged to a different club, and she came to practice a speech at our club. Her name was Annette Watkins, and I liked her almost immediately. (Primarily because of our shared first name, secondarily because of what I learned from her. Read on!)
Annette was the first speaker on our agenda, and her speech's purpose was to inspire the audience. She started out speaking strong, but in the middle of her presentation, Annette lost her train of thought and got so nervous and flustered that she apologized to everyone in the room and made an appeal to end her speech right there.
Everyone protested. I said, "Come on, let's show our support!" and I led the whole group in a supportive round of applause. Annette was still feeling nervous, but with renewed effort, she continued and finished her speech without her notes. After she finished, the applause was like magic.
Next we spent about 15 minutes doing Table Topics, and then I went up to the podium to deliver an evaluation for Annette's speech. The purpose of evaluations is to communicate to the speaker what he/she did right, and what he/she can improve on, as well as any opinions on the speech. I let Annette know that she was very brave to finish her speech after a stumble like that, and that she still needs improvement exactly like everyone else in our club. I also said that I was definitely inspired, after hearing her speak, to keep on attending Toastmaster meetings and learning public speaking so I don't have to end up like her (I got a couple laughs in agreement, and no offense was taken). I'm very proud of the evaluation I gave today because not only is it my second ever evaluation speech, but I feel like I changed somebody's life for the better. And that someone has the same first name as I do.
As you can see I am a very staunch supporter of Toastmasters. If there's a chapter in your area, I strongly recommend you visit the club and see what the fuss is all about. You might meet some very interesting people. To aid you in your search, here's a link to the Find-A-Club page on Toastmasters International's website. Good luck, good day, and goodnight everybody!