Not Quite What I Hoped For

quote1Given that Toastmasters is an educational and personal development club, there are roles in the weekly agenda that need to be filled in order for the club to accomplish its directives.

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.

3 thoughts on “Not Quite What I Hoped For

  1. Nice story, Sharon, thanks for sharing it. What is Toastmasters if not a massive and invaluable learning experience. I look forward to your next Inspirational.

  2. Part of the magic of Toastmasters is the call to do that which we fear. For me, fear is something that can sneak up on me, and render me blind and deaf, unable to be present to any facet of myself outside my fear. Oh no! I have lost myself. Strangely, often others do not even notice and whatever I have said has been a contribution. We contribute in our fear, sadness, imperfection. Thank you for your inspiration.

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