Why I made my Toastmasters group cry

Blog 2 of 8: Table Topics is fun, but I turned it into therapy

As a member and the (former) Vice President of Education of Unity Toastmasters (a community club in Toastmasters International), I chose one of eleven Pathways — “Presentations Mastery” — as a public speaking goal. This is the blog series of eight posts I wrote in one month to complete Level 4.*

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Photo credit: Create Her Stock
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Shamontiel at District 30’s 2019 Spring Conference (Photo: Shamontiel L. Vaughn)

Practice or wing it?

I practiced this speech several times. That’s what most people do before they speak in public. But I never do. I’m currently the co-host of Do Not Submit Chicago (Rogers Park) and regularly share stories three or four times a month at different venues.

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Shamontiel giving two one-hour presentations to a crowd of 100+ at the District 30 Spring Conference. (Photo credit: Lamont Boyd)

Everybody, minus my confused guest, ended up either crying or fighting back tears telling a story about a loved one.

What lead to the tears during my Toastmasters speech

It wasn’t so much about the dessert as it was the memories of the regular visits that the two of us took to this restaurant almost every single time I went to his house. Birthdays. Father’s Day. Mother’s Day. Valentine’s Day. I think the two of us even went on New Year’s Day.

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Spicy Thai fried rice with tofu is my second favorite meal at Chi Tung. (Photo credit: Shamontiel L. Vaughn)
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Grandad in action, running away with an almond cookie (Photo credit: Shamontiel L. Vaughn)

Additional posts from Shamontiel’s eight-part Toastmasters blog series:

‘Are you mad at me?’: The art of handwritten letters ~ Toastmasters, handwritten letters never go out of style

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Written by

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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