inspirationals

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Best Evaluator at Toastmasters

Published May 11, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3648Maryanne Christiano Mistretta – Best Evaluator, Toastmasters International

It’s been a glorious week in my public speaking journey. Sunday I was honored to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83. And Thursday night I won for “Best Evaluator.”

I’ve only been a member of Toastmasters since October 2018, and in seven short months I’ve scored the workshop, won for “Best Speaker,” “Best Table Topics,” and “Best Evaluator.” All this for my journey to become a motivational speaker!

Being an evaluator scared me. Who am I to judge someone else’s speech, which they worked so hard to present? The thing is, unlike having a prepared speech, when you’re an evaluator, you have to come up with something to say on the spot! (Kind of like being a judge on American Idol!) I was so terrified to do this, I procrastinated for several weeks, even avoiding going to Toastmasters by going to other events on Thursdays instead, like concerts, book clubs, etc.

When I got up there, I was so nervous, but I channeled my nervous energy into positive energy. Luckily I had the pleasure to evaluate a positive speech, called “Follow Your Dreams.” The speaker was amazing and I was so high on what she said, that I was able to nail my evaluation of her. It was hard finding something to give feedback on because she was so good. But I thought about myself, when I read in front of an audience and realized I could give the same feedback I’ve been given. Not to use filler words.

In the past few months I’ve watched so many amazing motivational speakers on You Tube and Ted Talks and in person. Using filler words like “like,” “so,” and even “um,” seems to be the norm; something we can all be aware of.

Hell, I even caught myself saying “um” during my presentation, but I still won! And the person who evaluated my evaluation offered ZERO critique on my evaluation. He said my evaluation was “perfect.” I also received praise from others in my Toastmaster group that it’s rare that someone wins at a “first.” But I nailed it.

The point of all of this is, don’t worry about being perfect, just get out there and do it! Not everyone will notice your imperfections, or that you are nervous. And maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a win — whether it’s your first time doing something, or after many tries!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261