It seems it is time for y’all to learn something new about me. Regular readers of this site know that I am an avid cyclist, I love hiking, I’m a dad, husband, reader and diehard Washington State University Cougar fan! (Football season is just over a month away! GO COUGS!)
The thing y’all might not know is that I am a member of Toastmasters. Yes, Yes. I can hear some of you snickering in the back… GEEK! NERD!!! Want some butter with that toast? I’ve heard them all. Now, I will never claim that being a toastmaster will help you get a date (but then I am married to the love of my life so I don’t need one!) but it does have its high points.
I am a corporate trainer. This means I speak in front of people ALL the time. This does NOT mean I like speaking in front of groups. NO one does . Joining Toasters has helped me get rid of bad habits, eliminate ums, ahs, yuknows, etc and just made me a better speaker in general. This in turn has helped me be a better trainer. Which, in theory, will lead to raises. But I digress.
Twice a year at Toasters is contest time. Today was one of the contests. Table Topics, which works like this. The person speaking is asked a random question. The speaker must now speak for at least 60 seconds, but no more than 2.5 minutes about his or her answer to the question. All the while, trying to speak in a manner that is entertaining to the audience (it is a contest you know!) It’s fun, and helps a lot at those times you are stuck with someone you don’t know and have to be nice and talk to them.
I signed up mainly to make sure we had enough for a contest. I’ve competed before, but never done better than 2nd or 3rd. Today there were 3 people total competing. Personally, I think the guy after me did a stellar job, and I was sure he was the winner! Next thing I know, my name is being called!! WHAT?? NO! I demand a recount!! But, alas, I am the winner.
Why am I NOT excited you ask? Well I will tell you. It’s because it’s NOT over. I now have to represent out club at a district contest! This means after work (Our meetings are lunch during the work week). I never planned for that! I hate after work stuff….
Ah, but it gets worse!!! Next week is the humorous speech contest. Once again, I signed up so there would be a contest. I’ve only competed once, and I lost to my future wife (some toastmaster chicks are hot, well mine is….).
Today I learned I am the ONLY one who signed up for the contest. Since I am the only contestant, I have been declared the winner! Folks I haven’t even written the fool thing yet!!! So NOW, I have to write the speech this week, practice it, and present it to the club, then EVERYONE is going to do a round robin evaluation of the speech to help me get ready for the next level!!!
Applause, pats on the back, hand shakes, good lucks all abounded! Have I mentioned I have NOT written the speech yet? Nor am I sure of the topic?? Anyone got any ideas???
This is why I never volunteer!!!