I’ve been looking for a new social group to belong to. I’ve thought of writing clubs and chess clubs but I haven’t got very far beyond that. I found some writing clubs in Auburn, but they meet on Tuesdays and I’d rather go to an event in Fort Wayne Tuesday evenings.

A friend suggested looking into toastmasters. I had heard of them several years ago, but never went searching for a group.

After the second prompting, I went online and learned a little bit about it. There’s a group that meets Thursdays in Fort Wayne that fits with my schedule really well. They practice public speaking and leadership skills.

The meeting was fun. People were a little bit more formal than I’m used to, but after a little bit it didn’t seem out of place.

We had three people speak as well as some table topics where people give impromptu one minute speeches. The person giving the topics asked if I wanted to answer a question which I did.

The topic I chose was about vanity and how often does one look at oneself in the mirror. I said that that has been a problem because sometimes I leave the house not composed well. I don’t look in the mirror as much as I should have. A couple of times that’s been embarrassing for example, by buttoning my shirt wrong for example. I then did a little non-sequitur and talked about how I look in the mirror a lot when I’m driving.

The one comment the evaluator made was that I said “um” a few times. I asked how to improve that and they suggested to just pause when I don’t know what to say. That sounds like something I can practice.

The toastmaster that evening was dressed really sharply in a white suit and black tie. He was really funny. One topic he shared through the evening was trivia about the movie Casablanca. Since I hadn’t watched it before, his suggestion was to rent it, so I’ve got it by my DVD player waiting to watch.

I’m planning to go back next week and bring an application form. Since they meet every week, I’ll be able to add it to my routine and learn some new skills.

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