Thursday 25th March 2004
Full Time Score: Bonus point win to Crusaders!
I want to describe one of the most intriguing experiences (so far) in my life.
It combined Toastmasters and Rugby in a staggeringly interesting way - that is to say somewhat more interesting than you might first imagine.
I had agreed to attend a Speech Craft course run by another club for the Canterbury Crusaders.
As I was to be a guest evaluator for one of the participants, I tried to stop myself from thinking too much about who might be there.
I needn't have bothered however...
There were 2 members of the management and 2 players: Assistant coach Don Hayes, Player development manager Angus Gardiner, and the players were the little know Reuben Thorne and Richard MaCaw!
I felt like someone hit me in with a ‘ball & all’ tackle as I walked in the door!
During the evening we saw each of them give a prepared 5 minute speech - both players evaluated another speaker - and all four give a 90 second impromptu speech.
It was a fascinating evening. If you were even remotely interested in people watching you would have had a ball.
Obviously there were the 'famous' young men to observe. But also there were middle aged women (who really should have know better) simply gushing with excitement.
(How I behaved myself I really couldn't give you an objective comment on :-)
Did I enjoy the shoe being on the other foot? Showing my expertise (not world class - but pretty good) and speaking experience in front of guys who I admire for their skills?
Bloody oath! Well... after my brain stopped racing and the worst of the shakes died down, I did.
Reuben Thorne is one of those people who give you all of their attention. Which generally is fantastic support for a speaker, but from him it was fairly daunting!
Giving advice/feedback to anyone is a fulfilling feeling, so giving it to someone who you know doesn't like public speaking but does so every week is fairly special. I just hope that is was useful for him.
I know that the evening was useful to me. Apart from great experience speaking to a different audience, I got my rugby ball signed by both Reuben and Ritchie.
And unlike at the DB Ad filming, I didn't feel like it was a major imposition by me.
I had given them something in exchange.