Mystery Speaker

Yesterday evening, I was mystery speaker in the Corinthians London Toastmasters club, which meets in a chic hotel, near the Royal Palace, on Buckingham Palace Road.

The first half of night contest, six great speakers competed, one after another. Mike, won with with a speech on "have courage to live, if not, at the end of your life you will regret everything you did not do. He took us in his story to a retirement house and told us about a woman dying at 85 years old, and she said to regret now, all the precautions she too much has taken in his life. All she did not do.

The speech and the story of Mike would have been perfect, but to die at age 85? No thank you! I do not want to think having only ten more years to live.

But he was right, act, live, as we can. Until it is not late.

I try.

After the break, I gave a speech, as "mystery speaker" a narrative of a portion of my life, when I had to change not only job, but what I did, too, and how I succeeded, but it is not I who was judged, but six "evaluators" who commented on my speech, one after the other, saying what they liked and what I could have done otherwise.

Corinthian TM Competition-5vEvans, here, with me, has won this contest.

Basically, they said so much of how great my speech was, how well I have I built my story, how good I am connected with the audience, and how the message "think outside the box" passed well, that I got into my head. Which was in the clouds.

At the time.

Then, around midnight, arriving home and listening (I recorded on dictaphone) I was deflated. Although it was not too bad. Yes, I corrected it from Tuesday when I told it differently at Meridiam Speakers, and I actually had a wonderful contact with the public, about 45 this time at the London Corinthians, but they have exaggerated in their assessment.

On the other hand, yes, they have noted that I could vary my voice more, not only to high and low, but also faster and slower. Except, that if I spoke quickly, with my accent, I'm even harder to understand.

The worst thing was that seeing the red light signal the end, I cut short, and again, I botched the end of my speech.

The ends are still my less strong points. What is my strength is my authenticity, sincerity, my good humour and good contact with the public. Even my body language went well, alas, that can not be seen when just listening to the speech.

What was most important was that at the end, not only was I told "great story and well delivered" it is mostly good manners - but the two young blacks (they probably need to hear my advice even more then the others, on how to find our strong points) came and told me "I'm glad I came because of your speech! I"ll remember your message, I would also like to copy the title of the book you mentioned!

My message has really needed.

Not only "think outside the box" but also "listen with empathy, listen well, it counts" and what was most important to me at first: "we probably have more of a career in our life, consider what we like to do (outside of the box too) and what we have been proud to have achieved. Then, think about, what skills you need to accomplish?"

To demonstrate how to "think outside the box" but also to laugh in the midst of this serious story that happened to me when I did not have but needed a job and work and had to change from Research Chemist to Businesswoman in Personal Computing (thirty years ago) because I was told to be: too old, female, not born here! - I gave an example.

I was very proud at the time, being a good lover.

What laughter! Then I go "what skill I needed for that?" Laughter. After a pause, I said: to be a good listener, was the most important. Listening skills, and connecting with others, that I could use in my new profession.

It's so fantastic when an entire room burst into laughter again and again!

Yes, I had a wonderful evening yesterday.

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