I had a very interesting session at my last Toastmasters club meeting. I was the Toastmaster (or host if you’re not familiar with Toastmasters) for the night. It was my third time performing that role. I believe it was my best performance yet. I didn’t rely on notes, and I was much less nervous than the previous two times performing the role. This allowed me to focus on the audience more.
My theme for the evening was Accomplishment and Recognition. I was pleased about my choice of theme as I’d never seem it used before. Prior to the meeting I had asked all speakers and functionaries what they felt they had gained from Toastmasters, and what skill they most wanted to develop over the next 6-12 months. Everyone found something to say without having to think hard about it. I felt this was a question I should have heard asked before from a Toastmaster of his fellow Toastmasters. I’ll certainly reuse it again down the line if somebody else doesn’t.
Despite feeling less anxious than the last two times in the Toastmaster role, I did get a bit flustered in the second half of the evening and took my eye off the schedule – in part because we had deviated from the program to put on a workshop and the sole speaker on the schedule failed to show up. We had also moved to a different room and started late to allow everyone including some functionaries to find us. Influenced no doubt by some of these factors, I managed to call proceedings a little out of sequence. A learning experience. I’ll handle such obstacles better next time.
Overall I enjoyed being Toastmaster again. Other than getting a little flustered, I felt I led the evening well and helped maintain a good standard of energy and enthusiastic welcoming to the stage of all functionaries and speakers. And with everything else that happened (see part two), I learned quite a lot that night!