Thursday, September 25, 2018
One thing you would get to participate in answering a question off the cuff at the Toastmaster meetings if you were a member. It would prepare you to practice your quick thinking and responding for 1-2 minutes. I was as calm as a river when the Table Topic Master called my name on the stage. He asked me to elaborate on this Chinese proverb: “Dig a well before you are thirsty.” I had never heard it before, but I understood it right away. I told him it means to be prepared for everything you do. Then I gave an example of me practicing for my long speech this Wednesday. I spoke with ease for one minute and fifty-five seconds.
I was very nervous just two weeks ago when I was called to answer an impromptu speech for the first time in this club. It is worth it spending time in the meeting. The Table Topic Master has been participating in Toastmaster since 1973, but he does not seem to stop any time soon. Although his hearing is poor, his mind is still very sharp.
Then I was asked to practice my speech in front of them because there was only one prepared speech for the night. I didn’t plan for it. At first, I thought it would not be a problem. But I was wrong! I forgot my opening lines due to distraction from a timer. Then I asked to repeat, but my mind was not there. I was not speaking to them with my heart. Perhaps, I felt that way because I thought my audience was bored of my speech because I spoke to them before in two sessions. Also, I thought this was too long for them. They are only used to listen to five to seven speeches.
Our mind can be a tricky one. It can lead you to success or failure. It’s up to you to control it. Despite the speech was not a success, I am still grateful for the opportunity to practice it in front of them. Now I know what to do exactly on Wednesday night. First thing first: pray. Second, keep repeating this mantra: ”I’m a confident speaker.” Third: slow down. Take deep breaths every few minutes. Last but not least: tell me that it’s just a speech. If I don’t make an average of 80 points to become a certified speaker, I will get other opportunities to try it again. It will not be the end of the world.
Success is never giving up no matter how difficult the task is. ❤️