Maybe I should consider more compelling headlines…

..Especially considering Stephen Dean‘s blog entries. :)

Until then, here are some updates. :)

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Thank you for the Toastmaster’s comments! I really appreciate them, and to John – you should totally do it.

People there are warm, encouraging, and they want to see you succeed.

I had my first speech a couple weeks ago and it went GREAT. I got awesome feedback… the only thing I was told to work on was the fact that I talk super-quickly.

I kind of like talking quickly… :)… but I took the feedback and used it in my prepared joke the next week, and they said I delivered that with great timing.

Overall, not perfect yet, but definitely learning. :) And it’s been SO nice to surround myself with those kinds of people.

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Random: I’m taking an improv class on Saturdays soon. That’ll help with my extemporaneous Toastmaster’s speeches, and just be an overall awesome thing to do.

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I was talking to one of the guys at Toastmaster’s about the Myers-Briggs testing, and “feelers” versus “thinkers”.

I was telling him that Myers Briggs labels me as a feeler, but I feel like I’m more of a thinker.

Anyway, he asked if he could give me feedback. When he did, he pointed out that I always say “I feel” versus “I think” (i.e. “I feel like I’m more of a thinker.)

I thought that was pretty interesting. He says that within a few minutes, you can usually tell which one someone is, just by listening to how they start those opinion sentences.

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Last random thing, then I’m going to make a new blog entry and post-date it since I seem to only do blog posts every once in a while…

Jaime and I are both going to be here in June (if you decide to go, let me know!), so we’ve been super-conscious about eating healthy so we look good for the pool. :)

Since we’re doing calorie cycling, we had a cheat day on Thursday. We were so excited that we actually had our waiter take a picture of us eating the “bad” stuff:

The picture came out blurry, but here it is anyway:


Alright, time to make a new blog entry. :)

An ode to Toastmaster’s…

People always seem impressed that I go on my random trips… sleep in my car, go to hostels, blah blah blah.

But to be honest, it isn’t that big of a deal to me.

I really love to learn… and putting myself in those situations helps me do that. Even sleeping in my car, I get to listen to the conversations of passer-bys as I sit in my car. The stuff you hear in a Wal-Mart parking lot can bequite fascinating.

Actually, Eben Pagan said in the Altitude DVDs that every once in a while, he’ll just drive to the local Wal-Mart and sit in the parking lot for a few hours… just to kind of get back to “reality”. I mean, the guy runs a multi-million dollar business… he’s not exactly “normal”. And to be able to still appeal to his customer avatar, he can’t lose touch.

So anyway – I think sleeping in the car is a good thing. And constantly putting myself in new situations can only help my writing.

Because of this, not much scares me.

Except for public speaking.

I don’t know why, I think it’s because when I used to be much heavier, I hated the attention on me.

One-on-one with one or two people, I’m fine. Ask me to talk in front of a group though, and I am NOT a fan. Even in my masterminds with friends… I’ll email everyone ideas until the cows come home, but I don’t want to be talking.

So in the spirit of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I joined Toastmaster’s. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a nonprofit club where people go and learn how to publicly speak better.

Every meeting, there are 4 people who have a prepared speech. Once they deliver it, they get on-the-spot feedback from every single member, as well as an established evaluator who really goes into extra detail.

If you’re not doing a prepared speech, you have to do extemporaneous speaking. You’ll randomly be called on and have to talk, off the cuff, for a full 1-3 minutes on ANY kind of topic. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you.

I kid you not – the first time I had to do this, I had tears in my eyes. I was freaking out. I don’t think anyone knew what I was talking about. I don’t think *I* did.

Even when I got back to my seat, my hands were shaking for at least another 10 minutes.

(Side note: they say more people are afraid of public speaking than death.)

But anyway, I went back a few times…and although I’m still nervous to speak, I’m 437643x more confident than that first time.

It’s really quite awesome. I originally went there just to push my comfort level, but there are so many side benefits. Learning how to speak succinctly, improve communication, leadership, confidence…

And even though I have a love/hate relationship with it, Toastmaster’s is the best night of my week, hands down. I have more fun there than when I do belly dancing, core fusion, or even if I go out with friends. It’s just such an INCREDIBLE experience. The adrenaline that comes with doing something that scares me and conquering it… I love it.

So anyway… I have my first prepared speech next week, and I’m psyched. :)