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Obama Won, and I Didn't Even Vote

I already know that this post is going to get a lot of negative comments like the religion one. And that's because this "every vote counts" dogma that everyone loves so much shares a lot with religion. It's a belief that's held true without a single bit of compelling evidence, and it's a strong belief.

But before I get into that, let's talk about some other things.

First, Obama won and I'm happy about that. I don't think that he's a superhero like a lot of people do. When I look at his positions I disagree with most of them. I disagree with most of McCain's positions as well.

Speech 4: Give and Take

On a speech a week

I have to admit something. I am scared.

After giving my third speech, my evaluator, Betsy, noted that it was "interesting" that I decided to give two speeches back to back. She wasn't there for my first one, so she didn't know that in fact it was my third consecutive speech. Betsy noted that when giving speeches so frequently, one robs himself of a key Toastmasters benefit: taking from others' speeches and evaluations and adding the good things learned to one's one repertoire. How right is she? Is it possible that the goal that I have set for myself of giving a speech every week for a year will be damaging to my learning process instead of an accelerator for it?

Another thing that is making me sweat is wondering whether my club members will be willing to hear from me so often. Will they care to see me up there every week? Will I come up with enough to say to keep it interesting over the coming months, or will my speeches become predictable and thus monotonous? Well, I suppose that if I focus on coming up with a list of topic ideas varied enough, I can at least get the other members of the club to stay on their toes with respect to my speech themes. I have learned that vocal variety is an important element of public speaking, but a special element of this challenge will be topic variety as well. Boring is bad.

By speaking every week, I will require an evaluation every single week in addition to about 10 minutes of everyone's time. My goal does not make a small demand of their resources. If my fellow Toastmasters get something out of it in the form of topic knowledge, elements to incorporate into their own speaking, and inspiration to improve themselves, I will be at least breaking even. If I can become good enough to both speak and function in one of the key roles at the same meeting (like Toastmaster--the one that runs the show, or Topicsmaster--the one who facilitates Table Topics), then I will feel better about demanding so much attention.

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