Checked out a Toastmasters meeting in Port Moody on Thursday. It was just as delightfully nerdy as I'd expected. About 15 people, mostly middle-aged, sat around wearing business casual and sipping water from dixie cups. The meeting began at precisely 5:30 p.m. and ended at exactly 7 p.m. The anally retentive part of my personality was overjoyed at how well this group kept to the scheduled agenda, which included introductions, a formal welcome of the guests (me), a prepared speech about whiskey, a "table topic" section, (three or four people speaking off the cuff about various things), and some other random house-keeping items. A brand new member received her name badge, which she will wear at every meeting, or suffer the consequence of having to pay a dollar fine. Nerdfest!
Towards the end of the meeting I was asked if I wanted to speak for a couple of minutes during the Table Talk. I thought about it for a quick second and declined. I wasn't ready. There are a few things in life... okay, there are a LOT of things in life that scare me. Public speaking is one of them. I know I'm not alone on this one. But this is the first step on the path to enjoy, rather than avoid, speaking in front of a crowd. I have visions of one day, when I become a Toast Grandmaster or whatever it's called, being asked to speak at events all over the world. Just like this guy:
Going to check out one or two other clubs to see what kind of vibe they have going on, then pay my dues and start on the path to perfect diction and awesome anecdotes.