Last Wednesday I went to my first Toastmasters Meeting and I survived! (I wrote about my fear of public speaking in this post and described a little bit about what the Toastmasters do.)
With a groovy name chapter name like “The Redwood Ramblers,” how could these Toastmasters not be a cool bunch? Nevertheless, I had my doubts…
I had a surprisingly good time! After the hour-long meeting flew by, I wanted to linger and get to know these brave souls!
I had almost bailed an hour before the meeting began, but I knew if I did that, I’d feel rotten. Plus one of the members had taken the time to contact me a few days beforehand (I RSVP’d on their Meetup site), and she encouraged me to show up. I felt compelled to give this group a chance.
I’m so glad I faced my fear.
When I arrived, I was made to feel so welcome by the members. Guests are allowed to be a fly on the wall, and that was a blessing since I wasn’t quite ready to speak! (Um, that’s my understatement of the year!)
This is me!!!
Everyone gave a short talk approximately four minutes long (most members spoke less than that) and each person was interesting. It was “Soap Box” day and we met outside in a park, but the meetings are usually in a building. The topics ranged from inspiring to educational to “ranty” to funny.
The meeting was well organized; it started and ended right on time since it was the lunch hour. There were treats that included red velvet cookies – how exciting! 😉 (There were healthy snacks too.)
My first assignment or “Project One,” is called “The Ice Breaker.” I was given a packet of materials and the instructions for The Ice Breaker are four pages (!) but I’ll sum it up for you:
For your first speech project you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests, and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, (I interject here: Lucy is in for it, that poor dog!) and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience.
You may use notes during your speech (I interject again: HELL YEAH, I’LL USE NOTES!!!) if you wish. Read the entire four pages before preparing your talk.
Objectives: To begin speaking in front of an audience
To begin speaking in front of an audience
To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need your attention
Time: four to six minutes
The next meeting is the Open House, and I want to do my first project the week after that, and then I’ll report back here!I ran a DBSA peer-to-peer support group for moms with bipolar. I like how Toastmasters is also based on peer-to-peer feedback and interaction.
Simply getting to the first meeting was a huge step, and their slogan says it all for me:
“It all begins with that first visit.”
On a final note, yesterday my good friend, the author/blogger Lisa Henderson, shared a very cool find with me – you may already know about it because I think it has been around for a year.
(Shameless plug: Be sure to check out her new book Paw on Amazon, her blog Passionate Reason is here.)
These products made a big impression on the girls and Craig who are massive Star Trek fans. As cute as the suits are, I think I’m taking a pass until they come up with a Tribble-themed suit!
Okay, my friends, have a great weekend!
Lots of love,
p.s. Are you going to do something you’re afraid to do anytime soon? Tell me about it!
Dyane Harwood’s memoir is Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw.
Dr. Henshaw is the co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatric Disorders, 2nd Edition published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in March 2017.
Birth of a New Brain will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017, and it’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon here; Kindle pre-sales are coming this summer!