One of the weekly roles is of the Inspirator. The Inspirator’s dictate is exactly as it is titled – give a message that will inspire the members.
For me personally, this is one role that I try to avoid. The reason is simply that I think I have nothing inspiring to share. So recently when I felt inspired to take on the role I was quite excited; I was going to lick my intimidation of it!
On the morning of, I set my alarm earlier than usual in order to give myself extra time to go over my notes one more time.
I liked what I had prepared. And I liked the fact that I was facing a fear; which is what personal development is about, isn’t it?
In the meeting at the appropriate time the chair invited me up to the lectern. My first clue that I wasn’t really prepared should have been the fact that I didn’t even think to take up with me my water glass; which we use for the toast at the end.
All I can say is as I stood behind the lectern I had what I’ll call an out- of-body experience! I knew there were words coming out of my mouth but I had no idea what I was saying – a position I found myself in many times when I first joined Toastmasters.
Somehow I made it to the end. Unfortunately, as I returned to my seat, I wasn’t feeling the euphoric feeling that I was hoping for. Instead I felt a real disappointment flooding over me because I had not delivered the inspiration I had planned.
What did I learn from my experience that morning?
First, I immediately knew I had a choice to make – shake off the disappointment or dwell on it? I did the former. My experience had taught me that it is the best exit route!
Second, when I had some time, I examined my experience more closely. One thing I discovered was that I didn’t feel centered when I arrived behind the lectern for the simple practical reason that the chair’s laptop was left on it. I had no place to put my notes except on the corner and because of that, I wasn’t able to stand squarely behind them, which for me, created a sense of imbalance.
I never would have thought that something like that could throw me off! Now – a lesson learned; in a setting where it is safe to stumble; preparation for a time when perhaps the audience before me may not be so gracious.
I believe EVERYTHING we experience in Toastmasters has a life lesson hidden in it. I’m grateful for these experiences, as uncomfortable as they can be sometimes.
For me, that morning, I didn’t obtain my goal of overcoming my intimidation of that Inspirator’s role but there will be another time and another opportunity.