Posted tagged ‘CLACC’

Toasties

September 19, 2010

While interning at the Chamber this summer, I was given the opportunity to join Toastmasters International.

This invitation took me by surprise, because  I did not really know what Toastmasters was. First, I thought it was a club that talked about international toasting techniques, like what toaster setting to cook the bread on so that it would come out golden brown and different buttering methods/techniques, but that wasn’t right.

Then I was confused because  I am not even old enough to consume alcohol yet, so I didn’t think I would be allowed to join a club that teaches people to write nice toasts, to be said during the “cheersing” of champagne at  weddings, anniversaries and other important events. But that wasn’t right either.

Well much to my surprise (this is just one more example of how stupid I can be since I didn’t know this in the beginning), in Toastmasters, which I have dubbed Toasties, we do not talk about buttering toasts or writing toasts. Toasties is actually a club that focuses on improving your public speaking skills and certifying you as a “competent communicator.”

Even more surprising than the lack of toasted bread and wedding toasts, is the fact that I actually really like Toasies. We meet on Friday mornings, and of course everyone in the club is kind of old, but they are all just as crazy as my friends at the gym.

The president is rather scatter-brained and a real jesus-lover, which makes me laugh; then there is one guy who reminds me of my dad the way he can just ramble on for hours and suffers from a slight case of social awkwardness;then there is the over zealous almost professional Toastmaster guy, who used to be a member of like 30 Toasties clubs at once; then there’s a nice, funny guy who is also a jesus-lover and of course some kind of youth minister who always gives very inspiring speeches (he’s my fave); and the funky, spunky, jesus-loving guy who practices his speeches and always knows them perfectly or just makes them up as he goes along and knows them perfectly; and some other people too.

It is really quite fun. So far I’ve given my intro speech, where I totally faked everyone out by saying I was an alcoholic and a speech on Lady Gaga and her amazingness. I also gave a speech about the time I tried to be a runner in the morning but ended up nearly breaking my ankle for a humor competition, I didn’t win though.

However, I did win for the Table Topics competition. In fact, I have won the “Most Improved Table Topics” ribbon like three times and I am going to compete to represent my Toasties club at regionols.

Table Topics is basically a minute of improv, which is why I like it so much. The Table Topic Master (aren’t all these official names hilarious?) gives you a question or a prop or a topic and you have to talk about that for at least a minute to qualify. For example, the question that got me to the regional competition was answering if a Mosque should be built by Ground Zero, but they are not always that serious.

Once I pretended I was a fortune-teller named Madame Babballa and just this last week I told everyone that Prince Zimbuabau was the face on the $10 bill. I can make up some pretty great stuff.

The regional competition will be held on Oct. 2, so I am excited to see what other things I can come up with  and maybe even win. Wouldn’t that be funny if I won all the way to Nationals? Then I could go to the White House and make up answers for President Obama. I would be the real Toastmaster then.

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Clear Lake Area Chamber

July 29, 2010

So this summer has been crazy beyond belief. I have been going at warp speed and have has so many obligations to everywhere that I have very little time left for me.

One of the primary obligations has been my internship at the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. I have an absolutely fabulous “mentor” and I have been having a great time acting like a debutante at Business After Hours and Ribbon Cuttings and going to plenty of official meetings. It’s really been a great experience and I have learned a great deal about what I want to be versus what I don’t want to be and so on.

In fact, the Chamber is so terrif that they even let me create a blog for them, which you should check out. This is a great project because I really don’t consider blogging “work” and I have learned a lot more about WordPress (it’s about time, huh?)

My internship will technically be over on Aug. 6, but I am going to hang around as I am helping plan their annual Chairman’s Ball, which is in September.

However, once I reach Aug. 6, I won’t be spending nearly as much time there and am planning a little break in my two weeks of freedom before school starts for the fall. So I should be back very soon  (because I have a lot to tell you).

Until then, read the Chamber blog and take my damn survey because I still need like 20 more responses please!!