Four speeches into my Toastmasters experience, I was presented with the opportunity to compete at the Club level. When the VP of Education presented the contest opportunity to the club, I instinctively raised my hand and volunteered. Related: TM Speech 1, TM Speech 2, TM Speech 3, TM Speech 4.
As I contemplated volunteering, I thought to myself, “What do I have to lose?” The answer was…nothing. I rationalized that the opportunity cost of not competing outweighed the risk of competing. Additionally, by speaking in a competitive setting, I expose myself to a new opportunity and challenge.