Project “On-The-Spot” is Born

About four months ago, I saw this picture (above) online. I immediately right clicked and saved it to my “personal improvement” folder (yes, I have one of those🤫). Why? It seemed to remind me perfectly of how I had entangled myself in my own web of avoidance, overthinking, and self-doubt about impromptu speaking.

THE HPL

The longer I waited to make a change, the harder it was becoming. How would I overcome this gargantuan feat (I know all my grammarians just smiled😁). Then my opportunity came; I needed to do what is called a High-Performance Leadership project in my Toastmasters® club; the project was to build not only my leadership skills but was to have some kind of positive impact on any organization of my choice. Following the surveys I had done (see blog #2), I realized that focusing on overcoming my allergy to Table Topics® and impromptu speaking could benefit, not only me, but other club members as well. And so…Project ON-THE-SPOT was born.

THE VISION

On-The-Spot (OTS) was a project focused on a group of persons who had identified themselves as having a desire to increase their confidence level and skills in impromptu speaking and Table Topics®. This desire formed and drove…the vision for the program. The project started out with 14 participants. Now, what is interesting to note, is that in the original survey done, there were… (apart from some club members who were completely confused as to why anybody would not totally love impromptu speaking😒🙄🤐)…yes, there were several others who had admitted to this weakness but still opted not to tackle the issue head on… which raises a very pertinent question:

THE COMPONENTS OF OTS

The On-The-Spot program included the following components:

· Workshop #1- Education segment, Q&A, and practice session

· Workshop #2- A closed group practice session.

· The OTS Table Topics Tournament

· Volunteering as guest Table Topic practicers at other Toastmaster Clubs

WHAT’S NEXT?

The next 4 blogs will share the framework of each of the abovementioned components before concluding this series of blog with several quantifiable discoveries including:

1. How improvement of each participant was methodically measured at the end of the project.

2. How improvement level was found to be predictable to a science, based on the results garnered (graphs and everything!🤓).

3. What aspects of the project the participants found most useful.

4. What aspects the participants found least useful.

All these will assist you on your own road to helping others (and yourself) in improving in this commonly feared area of public speaking. But before that, here’s a SPOILER ALERT!

I want you to know that throughout the OTS and by the end of the program:

· Some OTS members were chosen “best Table Topics speakers” when they volunteered in other clubs’ Table Topics sessions.

· ALL OTS persons who participated in at least one workshop or component of the program reported (and measured) an increased confidence level and improvement.

· OTS members recently competed in the club’s formal Table Topics (Impromptu speaking) competition with 1st and 2nd place being awarded to OTS members (including yours truly).

· Following the conclusion of the formal project, (which had a finite duration) the OTS crew continue to volunteer at various clubs and has increased its numbers as more persons wish to benefit from what is now more of an approach rather than a project.

So! Stay tuned over the next 4 blogs as I take you quickly through each workshop then wrap up/conclude with a detailed, information-filled and extremely nerdy blog #8 titled “Re-engineering Impromptu Speaking”. See you in 3 days for the review of Workshop #1!

(Click HERE to see blog #4-the next blog in this series)

Click HERE to see blog #2-the previous blog)

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Conrad Miller

Conrad Miller

I am a Jamaican Engineer documenting various chronicles of my journey as I trod the path of becoming my best version.