November 8, 2011

Competent Communicator Speech #10

Tonight was my tenth and final speech from the Toastmaster's Competent Communicator manual!  This means that I've earned both my Competent Leader (CL) and my Competent Communicator (CC). I've also completed all of the requirements towards my Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) except serving as a club officer for six months. That requirement will be fulfilled come January 1st, 2012, which also means I've earned a Triple Crown Award for completing three educational awards within six months.

I'm fortunate that my club, Boise Club 61, has been very supportive in my quest to earn my CC and CL.  More than likely they've actually pushed me a bit harder than I would have otherwise towards those goals.  My club is very active within the District and that's just how we roll.  We have quite a few District Officers in our club and we tend to pitch in wherever and whenever we can.  Boise Club 61 is already a Select Distinguished Club and 89% of the way towards President's Distinguished Club, which at the latest will be completed the second week in January.  I should mention we were voted District 15's Club of the Year out of 80+ clubs.

It's not hard to be motivated to excel in getting your projects done in a timely manner.  My goal was to get my CL and CC in one year, and my anniversary came and went several weeks ago.  I voluntarily pushed some speeches back to let another member bear down and give his last three speeches in a row to finish his CC.  I also added two education speeches I hadn't planned on giving into the mix, so all in all I'm not disappointed in "failing" to make my self-imposed goal.

It is tradition in our club that the first and last speech in the CC Manual be given as the 1st and 10th speech from the manual and that the speaker's mentor be their evaulator on both. Speeches 2 through 9 can be given in any order.  Most speeches run five to seven minutes while the last speech runs eight to ten minutes.  The tenth speech is also supposed to be inspirational.

I chose to speak about the Be the Match Program and very lightly on my experiences donating bone marrow.  Since I've posted far more about that experience than I would come close to touching upon in my speech, I'm not posting it here.  I had some issues getting to write this speech and was only able to start this afternoon.  Getting up to speak I was a bit weaker than I expected to be and spent too much time making sure I was using the table for support.  Being as I can walk around and pretty much stand without difficulty I think the added stress of presenting for a prolonged length of time was more of a chore than expected.

As usual, the speech I gave wasn't exactly the one I had written.  I did manage to speak more slowly than I usually do, which is good, but it through off my internal timing.  The timekeeper had a problem with my clock and the timing light went green when I was halfway through the speech!  This flustered me a bit and I mangled almost a page of content from the written speech.  The light blew through yellow and then red and I wasn't near enough to done, so at that point I decided I didn't care and I just kept going.  In my opinion I finished on a strong note and when my time was called, I was within my parameters even though the timer had to have been red for a minute or two as I was speaking.  Evidently my internal clock wasn't as far off as I had thought.

It felt good to finish that minor milestone.

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