Monday, March 24, 2014

Toastmasters Family

I am blessed to have good friends in my life. Ones that I wouldn't trade for a lifetime supply of Chicken Mini's (that should say a lot because those things are DELICIOUS)! 

The friends I have made through Toastmasters have blown me away recently. 

Our little club started a little over a year ago with some people on our campus that wanted to be better speakers and another group of people that were along for the ride. (Guess which one I was?)

Being a glutton for punishment, I helped charter the club. Then I became the club's secretary/treasurer. Then I became the VP of Membership. Then the president of the club had to step down and in true "Rikki can't stop staying yes" fashion, I took on the President role. 

I began in Toastmasters afraid of being publicly criticized. I had no issues speaking in public, but hearing how I could be better in front of group made me physically ill. Almost as ill as receiving praise in public does. 

I'm great behind the scenes. I turn into a socially awkward pubescent teen when recognition of any kind is hurled my way. 

But my Toastmasters family rallied around me. They saw something in me that I didn't. And they encouraged me to compete. 

This past Saturday, I competed in our Area speech competition. My friend, Alveno, had made it clear he was going to be there to support me. 

He wasn't competing and I'm sure there were 1,000 other places he could have been or things he could have been doing, but it was important to him to be there to support me and the other contestants from our club. 

That meant the world to me. 

One of my other friends from work/Toastmasters had found out she didn't have to be at the competition so she was going to TUNICA (gambling mecca of the south)! I wished her the best but was a little disappointed that she wouldn't be there to cheer me on like last time. 

When I looked back into the seats and saw her beautiful face, I ran up and hugged her so big! She deliberately tricked me and it made. my. day. 

Others throughout the day checked on me through social media or texting to see how it was going. 

And it went really well. Two other Toastmasters from our club won 2nd place in their competitions and I managed to win first place in mine. 

Winning was cool and I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't. But three things stuck with me that day that made the day absolutely fantastic. 

1) Watching a friend who has struggled with competing come out on top. He earned it and we could not have been happier. 

2) Those who took time out of their Saturday to support us and be our cheerleaders. That is friendship. And I know it meant the world to me. 

3) I received a compliment from someone I have a lot of respect for that doesn't typically give compliments. He said, "That's the best speech I've ever seen you give, slick."

I left out of that place practically floating! 

My coach went on and on about what a great job I did. We were able to talk about how awesome it was that our club came away with THREE winners. It was a celebration. 

And then I had people checking on it for the rest of the day, my dad was confused as to what I had done but was super proud as well, and my husband asked to see the speech because he missed it (which I did not do because I'd rather poop in my hands a clap than give a speech to one person). 

My son even gave me a high five before he asked me to give him a snack and take him to a movie. 

Saturday is one for the books. And my friends? Even yesser!


  1. Go you!! Speaking in public makes me want to throw up and crap at the same time. Also I break out in to hives and start scratching my neck like I'm coming down off drugs. You should be so proud! Happy Monday!

  2. That is so awesome! You go girl! If I ever have to speak in front of more than one person I kind of go stupid. Ok no kind of... I just do! LOL

  3. Awww...that friend who suprised you sounds pretty awesome! Three winners from a relatively new club is awesome as well. Congrats on your win! I'm sure you killed it. :-)