"" Writer's Wanderings: Toastmaster

Monday, October 10, 2005


A few weeks ago, I joined the Toastmasters club in our area. I wanted to sharpen my speaking skills especially when it comes to having to think on my feet. You know, when someone you are trying to impress with your latest book proposal asks you a question, totally off subject, and expects an answer.

The Toastmasters have what they call "Table Topics." Someone prepares a list of questions/topics and we take turns standing up to give a one to two minute talk on whatever subject comes your way. I was having great fun listening to questions that had the theme of a newlywed game show. Since there's nothing more fun than talking about your spouse's habits, I volunteered to take the next one. To my surprise, the list of game show questions was exhausted and I was given a serious subject to speak on. I faltered, grasping for ideas of what to say to a group I really didn't know well yet. I learned that a minute can be an awfully long time and I have a long way to go yet to smoothly field uncomfortable subjects among unfamiliar people.

I guess the old saying's true...be careful what you ask for...I'm learning.

Still, it's too bad the subject changed. I had such a good story about linty black fuzzies on the rug from hubby's dark socks.

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