A few months ago, I had the chance to see my amazing wife Gen graduate from the Christopher Leadership Course, similar idea as Toastmasters, but classier. So proud to have seen her stand up there and give her speech to a big room of people. Much braver than I would have been in this situation, public speaking never really being a forté of mine. After months of working hard and practicing speeches (over and over again to her attentive wife), Gen received a completion certificate in a pretty frame. What a fun night, filled with emotions, some funny speeches, and some serious and thought-provoking ones. As I sat there among a very enthusiastic entourage, I learnt a lot about courage and leadership, two very useful traits this course teaches. Gen liked it so much that she plans on taking the course again in the fall, but in French this time.
Another skill I learnt a lot about throughout the evening was the art of clapping. Boy, did we clap a lot. After each speech, after anyone spoke, we all put our hands together for a nice loud, supportive round of applause. While I definitely understand the importance of this, my hands did get slightly tired by the end 😛 Also, the amount of thinking and planning that goes into clapping is quite significant. Going through my head the whole time, were thoughts like, “when do I start? when I stop? How loud do I clap? Or, oh no, I’m still going and everyone else has stopped!” All the while, I was also thinking about whether or not the others were all experiencing the same dilemmas. Regardless, the whole clapping experience is a very validating way of expressing encouragement and excitement.
It was very touching to witness a whole group of people having completed this adventure and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. Watching my wife go through this course was beautiful; I saw her thrive and become more and more confident. Like watching a gorgeous flower bloom. Seeing a fellow Schvan up there in front of the audience made me feel so lucky and proud.
Have any of you heard of these courses?
Would you ever join a group like this?
Do you ever have trouble with clapping etiquette?