I joined Toastmasters! There, I said it. Now what? My new work has a Toastmasters club. One day, curiosity got the better of me and I went to a meeting to see what it was all about. I went back as a guest for a few more times until I was cornered and asked why don’t I just join the darn thing. Not one to argue, I did. Plus I am really not that good orating my thoughts so maybe this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Toastmasters reminds me of the Glee club. I tried getting a few of my co-workers to join up and they looked at me with a look that could be mistaken for disgust. I had to give myself credit as I actually was bucking the tide here. Good thing I always go with the underdog. No one in my department were members of Toastmasters. At first, when one of the Toastmasters came to my cubicle to talk Toastmasters stuff, I actually felt a pang of embarrassment. Keep your voice down please, I don’t want everyone to know I’m part of this whatchamacallit. Everyone here thinks I”m the cool black guy, this is really cramping my style. It was just a pang.
Last week, I did my first speech. It was the icebreaker speech. Self explanatory. My speech was titled, “I Am Sam, The Frozen One”. It was about my experience being Samuel Jackson’s double in the movie, Reasonable Doubt. I was praised on my stage presence and felt a bit like a cheat. The members do not know that I am a performer. I can sing and write, just not talk.
Thanks to Toastmasters, I can already see a marked improvement in my verbal skills. In meetings, I was usually just a listener with great thoughts running through my head but no confidence to let them out. Armed with my new-found confidence, I am learning to speak up. I can see why Toastmasters bills itself as a career builder.
I still can’t shake the feeling that I’m part of some Glee offshoot. Good thing I love Glee!