Doing Something Different

Tonight at Toastmasters, I did something that only a year ago would have been inconceivable for me: I stood on a chair, reading a passage from Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking, whilst wearing a dress and holding some fake flowers. I did that. And I enjoyed it.

For me, Toastmasters is about regularly getting out of my comfort zone, enjoying it, and getting better at it. I am working through Interpretive Reading, one of the advanced manuals in Toastmasters. The goal of this speech was to deliver a monodrama, but in character. It also asked that there be no eye contact with the audience.

I am very pleased with my evaluation. My evaluator tonight is a highly experienced Toastmaster and her insight is always very valuable. She praised the courage needed to do something very different like this, and then talked about how she would have enjoyed more emotional expression and freedom early on in the speech. And she noticed how I became much more expressive once I had put on the dress and stood on the chair.  It was then I got “in character”.  This is new territory for me but also something I’ve been noticing for a while. When leading ceremony, I consciously get “in role”, and that usually involves wearing special clothing or ‘being the one waving the wand about’. At Toastmasters, when I am acting as club President, I step into the role when I am wearing a suit and I put the chain of office on my shoulders.

I did something way out of my comfort zone. I’m proud of that. In all aspects of my life, I’m going to keep stepping out, keep seeking feedback, keep getting better, and keep enjoying the journey.



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