TM Sarah from Houston has transformed an actual Toastmaster story into an amazing Toastmaster theme. Read her submission below.
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It had been just six months since I had joined Toastmasters and our club was hosting the Table Topic Contest. I wondered there was no harm in participating and so, I volunteered. I was the third participant to speak amongst a total of 10 and the topic was “Just do it.”
As I walked up to the stage, Nike’s famous logo bounced around my head and I thought to myself how all my life experiences told me it was actually not okay to “Just do it”. Giving things some serious thought and discussion before actually leaping into them was not just my way of doing things but also seemed logical. So I went up to the stage and spoke my mind about how it was not right to “Just do it” anything.
After I took my seat, I witnessed seven other speakers assuming the stage and repeating some version of the same story – agreeing with the subject and how doing rather than thinking should be the mantra summarizing that Nike was right in advocating us to “Just do it.”
A couple of other speakers did have some solid content in their speeches and yet, I felt good about myself for speaking against the subject. I was confident that the judges would definitely remember me for what I said because I was different then all the other speakers.
Come result time, I was awarded the second place and though I have no way of confirming it but I do like to believe that my approach to speak on the contrary gave me an edge to tide over a good third speaker.
Fellow Toastmasters, being different is not just okay but absolutely vital in today’s world. The earth has 8 billion of us and if every one of us thought alike, behaved alike and spoke alike; it would be a very boring world. But more than that, as an individual, if you don’t have an identity that’s different from those around you, wouldn’t that make you feel less special.
We will learn more about being different later but for now, it’s time to know about something that’s the same always – our Toastmasters meeting.
Every Toastmasters meeting is divided into three parts. The first part is the Prepared Speech section where our members prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech in advance, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the fun and exciting Table Topic Session where anyone can speak for 1 to 2 minutes on a topic given by our Table Topic Master. And the last part is the evaluation session where our General Evaluator will give a comprehensive report on the entire meeting. Let me invite our General Evaluator for the day TM Name.
Once the GE is done explaining his role, invite the Prepared Speakers. After this session, continue with the theme as under.
Being different is not just important to stand out but is also your surest path to being original. Imagine you are with a group of friends discussing the Android VS Apple subject. Every one sides with Apple solely because it’s Apple but you genuinely believe Android phones let you be you sans restrictions. These are moments that let you be different and original. Too often, people feel pressurized to comply with group thinking. That does not just blind the group to new perspectives but also makes you less original. The idea is not to be different just for the sake of being different, but rather own it up in the case you are genuinely different.
And now it’s time for that session where being different can actually earn you brownie points. Please help me welcome the Table Topic Master for the day TM Name.
Once the Table Topic Session is over, continue with the theme as under.
The idea of not succumbing to the pressure and being different may sound daunting but it does have its own benefits. Being different makes your opinion respected and sought after. People appreciate those with a different view. Being different is also the surest path to progress and prosperity in life. A group of people thinking the ordinary confine themselves to mediocrity. When you think differently, it helps you zoom past others and leapfrog them to a higher zone in life. But most importantly, being different gives you the courage to be the real you. Life as they say is really short and it’s not worth living the short span being confined to the narrow mindset of those around you. It’s really a blessing to be different, be you.
It’s time now for the Evaluation session. Please help me welcome the General Evaluator for the day TM Name.
Once the Evaluation session is over, conclude the theme as under.
So what is it that helps you be different? There are a couple of things that can help you achieve this. As I mentioned earlier, speak your mind. Do not change your opinions merely to comply with others. Follow your passion. Find out the things that make you happy and do them. Hang around with other people who are different and original. And more importantly, enrich your life with vast experiences. Take a taste of everything that life has to offer. This will help you collect rich experience in life. And it is these rich experiences you are privileged with that will make you different from others.
It’s time now for the awards.
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Thank you so much TM Sarah for this wonderful submission.
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