The week after delivering that canned speech, I had a much more pleasant opportunity. With three other Toastmasters, I spent part of a Tuesday and a Friday coaching some fifth and sixth graders at a local school. The chamber of commerce is sponsoring a speaking competition for children at that level, and one of the leaders of my first Toastmaster group has a grandson in the competition. He and six or seven others were interested in any tips we could give them on relaxing when facing an audience.
As Toastmasters, we were surprised with the wide variety of responses to the My Dream Career topic, and the maturity and stage presence some of these children already showed. We may return to the school sometime nearer to the date of competition.
While we left the building I asked Margaret, "What was that opportunity to be a guest speaker that I had to turn down earlier this week?" The night she'd requested was the same as my church choir practice.
"Oh," she said. "I do still need someone to be a target speaker for a group that's holding their club competition for the area contest that's coming up. This one's on Monday. Are you interested?"