Last night was my monthly Toastmasters meeting. I had planned to attend and give my 4th speech from the handbook. The organizers informed me that this night would be a competition… Humorous Speaking! When I protested and said I didn’t know how to be funny on purpose, they would hear nothing of it, and said “Good luck”!
I figured I would just give it a try and use the opportunity to talk about something non remote working related (a special treat for my fellow Toastmasters)!
However, I woke up yesterday with strep throat… a mild case relative to previous times, but sick nonetheless. Given that strep throat is quite contagious, I thought it irresponsible to attend the meeting and expose a whole room full of people to possible infection. I asked if it was possible to deliver my talk remotely. Lucky for me, they were willing to give it a try.
One of the organizers brought an iPad, but for some reason, we couldn’t get Skype to work. We ended up having to use her iPhone instead!
So I got setup on a table and was able to watch the meeting from home. For me, it almost felt like I was there (but I’m also totally used to remote experiments). But because the real estate on the phone was so small, I don’t think my presence was really felt by the others. For example, when people got up to introduce themselves, they sometimes stood in front of me, and during the break, no one came up to say hello. To be fair, I was feeling low energy, and didn’t make an effort to engage more either.
Being seen through an iPhone changes the nature of the presentation, of course. I had to wear headphones to get a reasonable sound quality so I couldn’t go too far from my computer. My speech was full of gestures and movement, so that had to be adjusted for the small monitor retail space that I had.
It wasn’t ideal, for sure – but we made it through. And the most exciting part is, I won! (Hooray! My most embarrassing moment was not for nothing!)
I am so grateful to have been able to attend (thank you Ita for all of your work!). I really enjoy going to these meetings – the people are fun and supportive, and I’m learning SO MUCH about how to give good presentations. So, while it wasn’t as good as being there in person, it was definitely better than not being there at all!