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!