Can’t Get No Satisfaction

A giant mouth saying um, ah, so filler wordsThe General Evaluator recently remarked on my “uhms” and “ahs” and “sos.”

Damn. Me! A Morningstar for nine years. I should know better.

I thought I had un-uhm-ed myself. I thought I had licked those waffle words right out of my mouth. But bad habits have crept back into my speechcraft. Which reminds me what Toastmasters is all about—it’s a training.

Every Wednesday morning we show up in training mode. It’s built into the ethos of the program that we can always improve. We should never allow ourselves to think we’ve mastered the art of public speaking.

To quote Mick Jagger, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” and that’s okay, even if my speech evaluations are causing me my 19th Nervous Breakdown.

Speaking of the Rolling Stones, I joined Toastmasters in part because I aspired to strut the stage like Jagger. (I’m not kidding.) It was never going to happen, of course, but speaking on a stage seemed like a do-able option. I quickly forgot about rock stardom, because the speakers I heard blew me away.

One of the biggest challenges I discovered was weeding out those weed-words. The very ones that have crept back into my presentations. It makes me wonder if I’ve been coasting on my laurels (CC. CL, ACB. ALB). Am I guilty of treating Morningstars as a social club and not the training program it’s meant to be?

Have I forgotten that improvement is the name of the game?

Come to think of it—many rock stars could benefit from a visit to Morningstars.

Rock stars are always mumbling. For the longest time I thought the Beatles were singing: “I want to hold your ham.” And the Eurhymics were saying: “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.”

And for sure Dylan’s famous song went: “The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.” And what group was it who sang: “Hey, you, get off of my cow…”?

If you see a rock star before next Wednesday, invite them to our meeting.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on un-ah-ing myself.

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