Saturday, March 24, 2012

The high road...

I just arrived back home from my first evaluation contest at Toastmasters International and I had fun.  I'm always inspired to listen to other speakers and if they are good I revere them, wishing I could do the same thing - touch people with my words.  Although I do quite well on my club level as an evaluator, giving constructive feedback for the areas that the speaker could improve upon and praise them for the areas that were most effective. For that skill I get club awards all of the time.  This is what they look like:

Best Evaluator Ribbon (set of 10)
It's not about ribbons, it's not about awards, but it's a nice acknowledgement to achieve better skills.

HOWEVER on the district level I was up against toastmasters with skills that far exceed mine. I didn't even place during award time which means although I'm confident in my evaluation skill set I have much more work to do to impress the judges on the district level.  And I'm ready for the task.  It's all fine, I knew I didn't nail it.  I was happy to be a part of the experience.  I had a fun time and I truly desire to become a seasoned toastmaster.  My club mate won the best speech award for our club!  That was fun to watch.  The only keys to being really good are to get as much stage time as possible at my club, to follow the program as it is laid out and to consult with my mentor as much as possible.  I actually want to be good.  No sorrows here.  I know my strengths and am aware of my weaknesses which is why I joined the organization to begin with.

Pinnacle Acrylic (Large)

One new person in my club is mean spirited. I sat right next to her at a meeting when she sat next to a lovely lady who just delivered a speech. The mean spirited chick hurt her feelings pretty badly. This mean spirit is a character trait that toastmasters tend to correct. If correction does not work then measures are taken to excommunicate the "meat grinder" from the club.  The mean spirited chick and I competed on the club level for the evaluation spot today. Since I won/was chosen to represent our club she was not eligible to compete today, so she volunteered.  Of course when she saw an opportunity to talk to me after I lost the trophy she had a snide thing to say to me afterward.  And that was, "are you gonna be okay to drive home now?  Is everything okay?" with a devilish grin and a glare into my eyes searching for a hint of sorrow in my facial expression. You know that manufactured sincerity?  I hate that... it's baby game and it's so lame.


The old me would expose her "tell" and verbally eat her up for a snack, all without using one foul word, thrusting her into therapy for weeks to recover; all for being rude to the lovely lady and to me.  The new me is going to continue to hone my Toastmasters communication skills in a Hannibal Lecter kind of way [telling the truth that makes you think and squirm] and CRUSH her in competition on the club level, district level and every other level she feels she can outshine me as a professional public speaker.  She want's it so bad she's self defeating in many ways.  Her "tells" scream at me and she's not a good speaker, no skills, just a lust to be good.  She'll NEVER be able to come for me. Her kind never can.  Her spirit is what will defeat her. But a little eye for an eye would make me feel better.  I also must be nice to her since I'm an officer at my club.  My success and that of our club members other than her will do more damage than calling her swamp sludge.

Oh yeah, getting back to the HIGH ROAD, if we can turn her from a meat grinder into a lovely person worthy of the toastmasters association I guess we all still win right?

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