About a month ago, I was talking with my friend Jeff Irwin from North Dakota. Jeff and I have been talking about different ideas for training, and he has been extremely helpful. I was telling Jeff about a new program I am working on that focuses on recruiting new employees. I explained how it would allow me to talk to High School students and I was excited because my goal is to be a motivational speaker. “Have you heard of Toastmaster’s?” Jeff asked. “I have heard of it, but not very familiar with what it is about,” I replied. Jeff explained the program to me and invited me to attend one of their meetings on Zoom.

Jeff’s group is the Cass County Toastmasters and the members are mainly from Fargo ND. They usually meet in person on Friday mornings, but due to the Covid-19 Apocalypse they are having their meetings on Zoom. This works out great when you live in Idaho Falls. I thoroughly enjoyed the meetings I attended. I found out Toastmasters isn’t just about helping with public speaking but helps in many other ways. It helps develop communication skills, builds confidence, and makes you a better leader. I decided I needed to join a Toastmasters club, but it would need to be local.

Jeff helped with the research and we located a club called the Rise and Shine Toastmasters in Idaho Falls. I reached out and they invited me to attend their meeting on April 24. When I joined the meeting, I noticed Wayne Davis is one of the members. I know Wayne from the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, and he is a really nice guy. Everyone in the group was so friendly and nice. I enjoyed the meeting and told them I would like to join their club. They told me they would send me the forms and asked if I wanted to give an Icebreaker speech at the next meeting. I said I would be glad to, and immediately began the process of overthinking my speech.

I will admit I was a little nervous about giving my speech. I decided the topic of my speech would be “How little things change your perspective” and used the “Riding Bikes with Cassidy” story. If you are not aware of this story, it’s when Cassidy and I were riding our bikes back to the house when Cassidy looked up and said, “Papa, look the first star.” “That’s pretty cool Cass,” I replied. That’s when Cassidy said, “I bet that’s Grandma looking down on us.” In my speech I explained how the words on my ten year old granddaughter helped change my perspective.

I got some great feedback from the gentleman who evaluated my speech and some tremendous encouragement from the rest of the group. I am looking forward to future meetings with this group and can’t wait to meet them in person when the Covid-19 Apocalypse is over. Thanks for reading.

Next week: Cinco De Mayo 2020

P.S. I am happy to be a member of the Rise and Shine club, but it does remind me of a quote by Groucho Marx. “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”