My empire grows...
Last week, on Tuesday night, I joined my (semi) local Toastmasters club.
Tonight, I gave my Ice-Breaker (4-6 minute self-introduction). It was terrifying. My dad recorded it, and my voice sounds an octave and a half too high. Think bath squeaky toy.
It was wonderful. I loved it. It would be impossible to find a friendlier audience than an amateur speech club. I was able to give most of my talk without looking at my notes, and when I made eye contact everyone I looked at was smiling or looking right at me. I was able to put my nerves aside and do what I've read speakers should do (like walk around, and vary your tone of voice, and actually have fun).
I got three ribbons! Best Speaker, Enthusiasm Award, and Best Humor. (It's unusual for one person to get more than two.) My wonderful wonderful wonderful evaluator gave me her ribbon for Best Evaluator so that I could say I got four. (Did I mention that she's wonderful? So kind! So clear! So encouraging!) The ribbons are very shiny. I've stapled them into my Competent Communication manual so that I can enjoy the shininess forever.
While I was riding the high of nervous relief and discharged stage fright, I signed up (in a moment of madness) for my second speech. At the end of June. I suspect that I won't get three ribbons for that one, but I'm certainly going to try! (Want more.... Wants it...)
As an extra super bonus, the Teacher semi-pressured me into signing up for Toastmasters and then into speaking the very next week, so I was able to leverage her (minor, since I kinda wanted to anyway) guilt into a bottle of nail polish. I have three colors now! Seven more, and each toe will be a different color!
(I don't paint my fingernails. I chew my fingernails when they grow too long, and nail polish tastes bad. I trim my nails twice a week to keep them to a comfortable length, which doesn't give me much nail to hone my inexperience on. And most importantly, I don't like the feel of polish on my fingernails. But I have none of those problems with painting my toes. I'm sure you feel better now that I've cleared up that mystery for you.)