Toastmaster Training
by Marian Cochran

First published in the PAS Newsletter volume 5, number 1, January 1998.

I took my young cock to work today. I belong to an HP Toastmasters club, and I introduced a guest speaker who was giving an "ice-breaker" speech. This is the first Toastmaster speech, designed to overcome stage fright.

I said the potential member was practicing to do an important career-make-or-break presentation in Roseville Oct 26. I asked for their patience and warm support, then asked them help me welcome our guest. Then I swept my arm toward my friend, who walked up to the podium carrying a sack. They all expect her to stammer out some technical presentation she would be giving at the HP facility in Roseville. But instead, I thanked her for escorting the "Tiniest Toastmaster," and took the bird and show cage out of her shopping bag.

Then I explained he was practicing to go to the Capitol City bird club at the Roseville fairgrounds. Bird training, just like Toastmaster training, emphasizes repeatedly practicing so the "speaker" becomes less and less fearful, and more and more confident.

I told him we felt his pain, that we all knew what it was like to feel small and vulnerable in front of strangers. He cheeped a few times, and I made a few jokes about how he wouldn't sing, and answered a few questions about canaries. At the end of the 7 minutes, they applauded and we sat down. THEN HE SANG! Softly at first, but HE SANG. That's the first time he's sung in front of any kind of a crowd, and about the 3rd time he's been willing to sing in that darned tiny show cage.

HE SANG! I'm so happy! If he sings like that for the judges at the fair, I'll get him a nice trophy wife, just like rich industrialists buy - a young thing from a good family, with sexy feathers. Then I'm inviting the club to my house for the wedding. I'll serve champagne and broccoli!

Whooppee! HE SANG!

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