So I did my first speech at Toastmaster’s last night and it went well. I have such a nice group — I could’ve stared at my paper the whole time, mumbled and “um’ed” my way through the entire thing and these kind people probably would’ve still hung around afterwards to tell me what a good job I did.

I was happy to just get through it without losing my train of thought, breaking into a major coughing fit, passing out etc. (No, I never really thought I’d pass out…I’ve had enough public speaking experience that I don’t pass out…usually…) I also followed a really good, humorous speech, which was hard. But it went well. I felt good about my performance. In fact, I had a pretty swelled head for the rest of the night after hearing such nice things from so many people.

It was interesting that my evaluator commented on my short sentences. I didn’t realize that 1) I used short sentences or 2) you want to use short sentences when you’re giving a speech.

I was surprised to hear I have “excellent enunciation.” I would not have thought that about myself.

I need to work on projecting my voice (no surprise there…that’s why I ALWAYS ask for a microphone when I do author visits) and on using more purposeful gestures/movements (no surprise there, either…I never know what to do with my hands during a presentation…that’s why I do power point and use a lot of props during my school visit presentation).

I always feel so positive and upbeat after a Toastmaster’s meeting…I really enjoy these people; I enjoy hearing their speeches, I enjoy seeing these people on a regular basis, and I don’t know…the meetings are just FUN. I wasn’t sure I’d still feel so good after giving a speech myself, but I think I was even more “up” than usual.

l_skeers told me that when she joined her Toastmaster’s group, she didn’t necessarily expect to make friends with the people, that that was an unexpected bonus. I’m finding that, too (and I didn’t expect it, either). I suppose it’s only natural when you see these same people on regular basis. Sometimes it gets hard to maintain friendships these days because people get so busy and they just don’t ever see each other. But with Toastmasters you know you’re going to see everyone next week for sure. And as you start to get to know people, you start to make plans to get together outside of Toastmasters, too. There’s a small group of us that’s going to start doing Tai Chi together. I can’t wait! I’ve always wanted to learn Tai Chi. The woman who is going to teach us is from China and she wants help with her English in exchange.

I’m already thinking about what to talk about for Speech #2!


7 thoughts on “Toastmasters

  • March 22, 2007 at 11:54 am


    Great stuff! Each time you do a speech it will become easier and easier. And yes, TM members do become your friends–my TM friends are wonderful. And my husband just started Tai Chi on Monday–he says it’s quite a workout! (Kathy–Club 9806)

    • March 25, 2007 at 6:58 pm

      Re: Congratulations!

      Thanks! I’ve always said that no one knows you as well as the writer friends you critique with (not only do they see your work, which says a lot about a person as it is…they know how you respond to feedback, they know how you go about offering feedback to others…Ithey know what your buttons are etc.). But I’ll bet that’s true of a Toastmaster’s group, too…it won’t be long before my Toastmasters group knows me as well as the people in my critique groups. No wonder it’s so easy to make friends with TM people!

  • March 22, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Good for you!

    I bet it feels good having that ice breaker over with, doesn’t it? You keep your arms still? Me — I tend to wave my arms around a bit too much! TM is addictive, isn’t it? I’m so glad you found such a great group and if I had anything to do with you joining TM, well, then, good for me! ; )

    • March 25, 2007 at 7:03 pm

      Re: Good for you!

      Yes, you did inspire me to finally take the plunge! And yes, it feels very good to have the icebreaker behind me. I’m already half done writing my second speech! I was thinking I had too many school visits and book deadlines to consider doing speech #2 until summer, but now I’m not so sure…I can maybe squeeze it in before that.

      It DOES become addictive! I’ve only been a member for four months, but I really, really hate to miss a meeting. The first time A. had a music concert on Toastmasters night, I skipped Toastmasters. Now I go to TM, and just sneak out when the evaluations start. That way I don’t miss the speeches and table topics. But when I’m away this week, I’m going to have to miss the whole meeting. šŸ™

      You wave your arms around? I wouldn’t know how to do that.


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