I don't like to blow my own horn. I let others do that for me, not that they ever do. But something special happened tonight, and I will take a paragraph or two to tell you about it.
We started our 2010 Toastmasters meetings tonight. Someone was supposed to do a speech but could not come through. Kirk wrote the executive mailing list asking if someone might be able to prepare a speech for this evening.
That's a tall order for me. I am working on so-called advanced manuals, which are lengthy and time consuming to prepare. There is no way I could prepare a 30 to 40 minute speech when I'd only have my lunch hour and maybe half an hour after work and before the meeting started.
Or, was there?
I booked an interview with NB for this coming Sunday morning. It occurred to me that I might be able to do a speech about how to conduct an interview, the art of preparing and running one. I'm not an expert, but I do these interviews for this blog, and I just booked NB and... hmm!
If I could find a manual speech whose objectives I could mould to fit this speech idea, then maybe I could do a manual speech, between 30 and 40 minutes long, that could benefit me.
I have been working on a manual called The Professional Speaker. One of the speeches in it is called The Professional Seminar. Hmm! I wondered if I could speak about how to conduct an interview, conduct an interview for a few minutes with someone, and then have break out sessions where club members interviewed one another, reporting their findings back to the members afterward. Then, I'd answer people's questions. Yes! That would work.
In a blaze of creativity, I wrote the speech during my lunch hour. I tried a different approach, producing a cheat sheet I would give out to the club membership to aid them in their own interviews. After work, I re-worded a few things, and printed off the cheat sheets.
I presented the seminar this evening. It went over 1000x better than I thought it would. I got some very nice feedback from the membership, both at the meeting and on my facebook this evening.
There are times when it pays off to prepare something to the nth degree. You don't hear about Olympic athletes deciding not to prepare that hard for their event. Brain surgeons don't call it in. But sometimes, like tonight, I can have a burst of creativity that results in something good. If I had spent 2 weeks working on this, rather than less than 2 hours, I am not sure if it would have been much better.
That electronic document is at my work. I will paste it into a blog post tomorrow. I'll let you judge the quality yourself, then.