Photo courtesy of zirconicusso/

Photo courtesy of zirconicusso/

The green card went up finally. I’ve spoken for the required three minutes to qualify for my fourth speech. This time, I can make it to the yellow card! With only two more minutes to go I can cross the finish line.

Time is ticking as slow as a labor pain minute. Thankfully, no sweat is sliding down my face; but, my heart is racing to the finish line at an out of control pace.

Sixteen sets of eyes are locked in on me. The dark brown eyes grab my attention, so I’m forcing myself to find a set of blue eyes where I’ll pause for a second or two. There’s a set behind long black painted eye lashes. The lady’s blue eyes seem to sparkle with a smile or is that a glimmering tear ready to spill?

The yellow card is waving like an enthusiastic hand with a profound answer.

Yeah, I’ve made it. I haven’t died yet. The red card will be my prize to race for during my next speech.

When I speak, I have a lot of self talk.

Today’s post is a sample of the chatter I had going on in my head during my early days with Toastmasters International. Like labor pains, I really do remember the two experiences. Yet with determination, I pushed through both with a treasure gained at the end.

Toastmasters’ color card system is the best for learning the disciplines for time management when giving speeches. For those beginning their speaking ministries, I highly recommend finding a Toastmasters’ club and joining. Toastmasters International helps take away fear and ahhhhms while applying nonthreatening teaching methods like color card pacing for crossing the finish line on time. Event planners rejoice when speakers respect and honor the limited time allotted at their event.

Speak on.


No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:11


(Photo courtesy of zirconicusso/