Following from the contrite entry on Monday it seems that ‘Communication’ is this weeks theme. Last night Rob and I attended a meeting of Toastmasters as guests. I have wanted to go for a while. Since I am a loud mouth anyway, I thought I should funnel this energy into something constructive. Rob wanted to go for almost the exact opposite reason. He’s actually very uncomfortable about speaking in public, and he thought it might help.We found a group (there are HUGE numbers of them all over the world – checkoutÂ this link)Â that met at Paletta Mansion, a stately home on Lake Ontario near where we live, and went along.
The meetings are a couple of hours long, and during that time we heard about six different speeches, prepared and impromptu from members with varying degrees of expertise. I thought they were all brilliant. If I could develop to be only half as good as them, I would be happy. The energy in the room was really positive and they were very welcoming without being overbearing or making us feel like ‘new meat’ (you know what I mean…’come into our cult hee, hee, heee’…). The unexpected thing about the meetings is that they not only encourage speaking, but also listening, which, in my humble opinion, with the exception of maybe my Mum and Dad, is something that people just don’t do these days (myself included). To this end, as well as offical speakers, there are also official evaluators. This was a much harder role to fulfill, since you had to provide constructive feedback to an entire room of people on something that you had only listened to a few minutes before. At least the speakers had time to prepare what they were going to say. Anyway, I have decided to join and by the sounds of things Rob’s up for it too.
On a similar note I found this interesting post about how to have good conversations when I was perusing through the blog of a Torontonian I had heard about. It’s well worth a read. Click on the link and check it out.
Finally I received one of those ‘Getting to know your friends’ e-mails from my sister this morning. I thought a couple of her answers were funny so I have included them here. It seems that we share some similar traits…..BTW I have no idea what the reference to ‘bond woman’ is all about…..she does have some really nice shoes…
1. FIRST NAME? Dawn – but answer to oi you, bond woman, hey cow bag…
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes – the only way to get through the day!
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Don’t have shoes with laces – far too difficult first thing in the morning.
39. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter – I’m too white to wear summer clothes
40. FAVORITE DESSERT? A very chocolately cake, followed by some headache tablets and a little snooze
49. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time!