We arrived in a room that was lit and held two eager women ready for Toastmasters. The only thing missing was the club. No one showed up. No banner. No ballot. No gavel. Not a single Toastmaster from the club! I was certain that this would be a trip in vain.
Suddenly, something magical occurred.
In sitting and waiting, my friend and I began to tell these two women about Toastmasters and what they would experience if the club were there. Walking through each role and each opportunity until Robyn turns to me and says. "do your speech."
'For three people?' I thought. When I've spoken to hundreds, how can three people provide an audience?
I shrugged. Might as well.
I walked to the car for my jacket and props. When I walked back to the room, two strangers and a friend listened to me give my speech.
As I spoke, their eyes lit up. They laughed. They cried. One even bowed her head on the table to hide her tears.
It was perhaps the finest moment in my speaking history.
It reminded me of the Seuss book where the Grinch steals Christmas. Or at least tries to steal Christmas. Instead, he winds up stealing everything tangible thing, but cannot steal the spirit of the moment.
That is what I learned tonight. Toastmasters is not about ribbons or ballots or gavels, it is about the spirit of communication and sharing that spirit with everyone you meet.
After I spoke, everyone else got up and tried out table topics. I even timed it on my phone.
It was one of the best meetings I've ever attended.