Avi and I went to Toastmasters today and gave a speech TOGETHER! It was entitled: The fine art of Negotiation. I needed a partner to help with my Advanced Communication Manual, Interpersonal Communication. At first Avi had come up with the idea to show a simple example of negotiating a business deal between a farmer and a customer in an open air market. We were haggling over the price of my geese. Unfortunately as we practiced our role-play, we could tell neither one of us knew much about buying a goose. So we put that idea in file 13 and went with something we both know and love. Computers. So my assignment was to give a 4-5 minute presentation on what it means to negotiate and the process. Then Avi and I would role-play a negotiation for 3-4 minutes. Then it would conclude with a summary of the process. I was a little nervous hoping that I would stay focused and not flub while my soul mate was in the room. When Avi came up and we started the role-play, it went beautifully. We pretended I worked at a computer store and Avi was in the market for a new laptop. He was very natural and kept the banter flowing nicely. I kept worrying about the time, so when it was over I summarized very quickly and sat down. My evaluator was very encouraging and noted that I kept my eye contact to only one side of the room. He noticed I was shying away from Avi. I was worried that I would lose my concentration when I looked at him, but during the speech I was telling myself to scan the room and make eye contact with everyone, including Avi. But I must not have listened to my own advice. It's ironic since I just wrote an article for our Toastmaster newsletter on "making eye contact". Oh well. Everyone commented on how natural Avi was in front of a crowd. He's thinking about joining my club and I think it would be loads of fun! It would be a hobby we could do together. He helped me so much and I look forward to our next collaboration.