Saturday, October 27, 2007

Got my Toastmasters Kit in the mail!

I'm all fired up about my Toastmasters club and participating. Today I got a Priority Mail envelope, nice and thick and heavy. In it was the introduction, the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals. Also included were mini manuals about effective evaluation, speaking voice and meaningful gestures. All valuable aspects to be able to lead.

At my last meeting on Thursay all club members give an improv speech on a topic given to them only moments before. No time to prepare. It's to practice your thinking while being on the spot and we have to talk for two minutes, which is a long time when you're up there talking off the cuff!

My evaluator said I clasp my hands a lot, look up at the ceiling (I do tend to look up when thinking) and I said 'ah' and 'um' so much that he lost count - in two minutes, mind you!

So I know what I have to work on. Even telling a friend who I know and feel comfortable with about the service I'm selling I noticed how I was umming and ahhing a lot and looking up. I need so much practice to LOOK confident and BE confident when presenting something I have to offer that someone is going to have to pay a fee to get - and I must convince that person I and my company are trustworthy and that means being confident in the way I talk about the service and how I present myself through voice and body language. I have lots of work!

Weird how I'm a natural in the classroom, but in front of adults, I get badly flustered. Will keep you updated on my progress!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Contemplation for October 23

Seize hold of the moment that is before you and begin again your journey to the inner universe. Right now, wherever you are on the path, however many times ou have faltered, begin again.
There is such joy in beginning the day anew.

Just as your breath travels in and out over and over again, tirelessly, in the same way, if you feel you have faltered on the path, begin once again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yes, it worked out!

I got an email from my Thai student's teacher yesterday. She said that the girl's guardian (auntie) would like me to start tutoring her! Of course we have to see how the girl feels about it, we certainly don't want to force her to do anything she strongly objects to!

In the meantime I've been reading up on some sales techniques that do not involve cold calling. The thought is petrifying and has a proven high failure rate. My experimentation of going out to talk to prospects will be at the end of the month with my dad in his town. See, I have no mentor here to help guide me. I'm reading all kinds of books, but no PERSON to connect with. My dad has lots of confidence, although he's never been in sales before. I'll see how it goes with him.

I'll also be going to Las Vegas next month for the first annual conference of my company and I expect to get lots of information on how to go about getting qualified prospects. I've got an appointment to meet with the company's founder one on one, so I'll be asking lots of those types of questions.

Anyway, that's what's been happening. Not that much since Golf's been out working in South San Francisco every day the last couple weeks on a big sound recording job. I've been holding down the fort here, being an at-home mama.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tutoring a Thai Student?

I put a question mark at the end of the subject's sentence because I'm unsure if it will happen or not. I had an epiphany while I was taking my bath this morning. In the high school class I subbed for a couple times, I had a Thai student who had been in the US for about a year. Her English was so-so and there was still quite a bit she didn't understand when I spoke. Her mother had asked her if I could tutor her and I said that I didn't know because at that time we were contemplating a move to Sacramento.

Now we're certainly not moving and the thought of helping this young Thai girl get a head start in her learning process would make me feel wonderful. I would like to tutor her twice a week for an hour each time, help her with her homework, expand her vocabulary and hopefully inspire a love of learning within her. If she can do well in her subjects, it will likely open a whole new world for her, or at the very least increase her perspective and confidence. I would like to offer her some help free of charge. To volunteer three hours per week total during a time when Aidan takes his nap anyway is not much and could make a huge difference for this girl. I hope her teacher calls me to tell me it's a go.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Went to my first Toastmasters meeting

Last night was fun! I got to meet the members of the local chapter. I particiapted in an impromptu 2 minute speech - which is challenging for me because often my mind blanks out. This is one of the reasons why this club will be good for me because I need to articulate my thoughts faster. The members also challenged me to give a 5-7 minute "Icebreaker" speech on myself, and it was actually quite easy to fill up all the time. The stunner was that I was voted most interesting speaker at the end of the evening!

One thing I noticed about what I went through is that I didn't feel very nervous. I think it was because I didn't THINK about being nervous. Now if I can only get into that state of mind when I give sales presentations because right now I feel extremely nervous. I believe that the big difference is that in a club environment, you don't risk rejection. In a sales presentation, you do run the risk of rejection. I need to not fear rejection and toughen up.

It was a great night though. I look forward to the weekly meetings and becoming a great speaker!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Graditude Journal

I've never been one to keep a journal. As a matter a fact, this blog is the closest thing I 've ever had to one. My personality has been as such that I am attracted to trying new things, and in the past that has been outwardly expressed through travel and seeing new places locally.

Now that I'm a mom, I've been cocooned in my home, limited by what an infant, now toddler, can do. That need for exploration has not gone away, but it has been channeled in different ways now, which I find to be an interesting phenomenon. For one thing, I'm entering a new career that requires skills that need to be learned and practiced, and mastering those skills and developing the courage to make that phone call or enter that place of business to talk to the owner is a huge step for me and it's exciting and scary - much like scaling the side of that enormous hill with a 10 inch pathway in the middle of the Himilayas!

So last Friday when Oprah was chatting with Elisabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, Gilbert mentioned she keeps a daily journal and records two things each day. She asks herself What do I really, really, really want? Write down one specific want for that day. The next thing to write down is the happiest moment of that day. The last few days, that has involved my time with Aidan. I include one more thing in my daily journal: Write down one thing I am grateful for. Every day I think of something specific that I want to express my gratitude about and I reflect on it.

This is a fun and fulfilling experiment. My need for exploration has turned inward since I am limited by my outward opportunities. And I think it is a very, very good direction!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bad Karaoke

When we lived in Bangkok, Golf and I bought a couple of CDs of kids songs for Aidan as he grew older, so he could hear Thai singing by children. Well, we opened them awhile ago and they sound terrible. Very low budget, midi style keyboards with the kids singing off-key and the sound engineering sounds as if somebody had a microphone in a karaoke room. We do have one CD we bought at the Queen Sirikit book fair that's held every year and that one is extremely cute and well done. At least we have one good one, but Aidan likes the bad karaoke one too, so I have to endure like a good mother.... :)

Joining Toastmasters International

I'd always heard of this organization, but was never in a position to need it. I had actually read on a sales website that it was a good idea to join a public speaking club or take a class, so I thought of this organization to help me with my confidence and the way I present myself to others.

With my new business I sell, I know it well now. I feel confident in my knowledge of my service. However, when I practice in front of Golf or any of my other friends, I stumble over my words and my thoughts jumble up into a wadded mess. I'm hoping this class will help me keep my thoughts organized and my output seamless. My first class will be this coming Thursday for only an hour and a half and it's really close by. We meet weekly too, so hopefully I will improve quickly!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A contemplation for today

I recently got a book of spiritual contemplations for each day of the year. Periodically I'd like to share what that day's reflections are with you. Here is what October 6th says. My name is in italics; you replace it with yours.

That which is not, came.
That which came must go.
Amy, remain calm and steady
in the midst of all that comes and goes.

What is inevitable must happen.
You cannot prevent it.
Amy, recognize the inevitable.
Remain tranquil in yourself.

This brief life passes quickly
and in the end one dies.
Now is the time, Amy,
to meditate on the Self.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Welcome October!

I can't believe the year's nearly done already.
The visit last week with Golf's friend went really well. Dii is a wonderful woman and she was truly surprised that she was in a book and on the author's website. She lives back in Thailand right now and was on a several month visit to the US to stay in the Buddhist monestary affiliated with the one she attended as a girl in Eastern Thailand. It is located in the far north of the state, in the mountains and I'd love to go for a weekend trip to check it out sometime. It sounds like a beautiful place.

Meeting with Mr. Coffee was interesting. He cannot use my services due to his tax situation. His business needs to become more successful first. I called to discuss this at the main office and it turns out that Mr. Coffee's situation is one of the few instances where my service would not work. So how do you like that?!?!

I need to put my gloves on and get into the ring - I believe with 100% conviction in my company and my service and my father's even interested in helping me out in his town (a three hour drive from home - that would expand my area a lot!) But I have been so jittery to get started. I know the facts of the service down pat, I just need to get out there and put myself on the line.
Heck I remember feeling jittery before every new job and it's always, ALWAYS better and easier than imagined. Will let you know how it goes this week.