Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Table-topics + My 7th speech

Tuesday evening was lots of fun, and quite an important day for me. While this was partly because of the new Glee episode (please see my previous post ^_^), it was also because of Toastmasters.

It was a big meeting for all of us that night, (though particularly for me), for 3 reasons:
1) Firstly, we were having a Table Topics contest, which was a pretty huge deal. For those who don't know, Table Topics is kind of a game we play at every Toastmaster meeting, after members have given their prepared speeches. The Table Topics Master gives a random topic, theme or question, one that no one is prepared for, and calls on someone from the audience to speak on that subject for two to three minutes.

Sounds easy, right? Well, it is often lots of fun (we have gotten lots of laughs playing the game), but for some people, it might be harder than you think. Especially when the topics get really random, or they're about something you don't have much knowledge about. The good news is that you can change the subject any time, if you don't feel comfortable talking about it. In a way, Table Topics teaches you conversation skills. If someone hits you with a question you're not prepared for, you need to think on your feet and respond, hoping that you sound half-way intelligent.

So yeah, Toastmasters has these contests in their clubs every year, for Prepared Speeches, Humorous Speeches, Evaluations, Table Topics, etc. It's to stir a little healthy competition for being the best speakers around. There's the Club level, then the District, Area, and Division levels, before you go to the International level.

Our contest at our home club, Beacon Point, was lots of fun. We had 5 competitors, 2 of which were Annette and myself. We drew numbers to see which order we would speak in. Annette got to be third. I CAME FIRST! O,o (Yes, I did get a few butterflies in my stomach.)
2) The second thing was that, somehow, we had the MOST guests at our meeting that night than in any meeting in my recent memory! Usually we have around 8 to 10 people at a given meeting, but this night we had a 10 official club members, PLUS 8 or 9 first-timers who were completely new to Toastmasters!

Since I was first in line to speak for Table Topics, all the added faces in the crowd made my inner flock of butterflies flutter a bit faster. The 4 other contestants left the room, so they wouldn't hear what the question or my response would be. (We are all given the same question. The judges critique our answers.)

When I was finally called upon and asked the question (How do you define success?), I paused, took a deep breath, and started talking in as clear a voice as I could manage. Funny enough, when I was up there speaking, the many people in the room didn't bother me that much. In fact, if there had been less people, I think I'd have been more nervous. Does that make any sense? Maybe a part of me thought that if there were more people, there was more of a chance that people would like my talk. I don't know. But I was sure glad when my turn was over, and I could watch Annette and the others give their responses.

Neither my twin, nor I placed in the Table Topics contest. But it was still really fun. ^_^

3) Perhaps the biggest part of the meeting, for me personally, was that I gave my 7th speech. It'd been weeks and weeks since I gave my last speech, and this time I really did myself proud. The project of speech #7 is to do research on your topic, so I decided to talk about a holiday that is fast approaching: Valentine's Day.

Enjoy watching! ^_^


Rainy said...

I could tell you were nervous, but you got better half-way through, especially when you got interactive.

Totally an aww-worthy moment when you gave that card away :)

J.N. Future Author said...

Aw! That really was cool! ^.^

I love watching your videos!

and I agree with Rainy, that was really sweet that you gave the card to your brother ^.^