Although my original idea for Thursday's speech contest was to use a much more abbreviated version of the speech I presented back in September, a couple of days before the competition, I realized I had a better idea of how to talk about misophonia in my speech... One with which the audience could better relate... And it worked! I won the speech contest at the Club Level and am now gearing up for the Area Contest on Tuesday, April 8th. From the comments I received after the competition, my strategy worked. People could really connect with what I was saying, and it seems one sentence stood out for everyone... When I commented that the motion of someone bouncing their legs or fidgeting out of nervousness would make me extremely anxious too. (I can say that I've been sitting here in a coffee shop for over a half hour and one person sitting two tables away from me has been bouncing her foot since the moment I arrived. It is so annoying!!! Thank goodness for having long hair to block that motion from my peripheral vision.)
The speech contest wasn't the only sharing of misophonia experiences that I did on Thursday. After the contest, I had lunch with one of my fellow Toastmasters and then hung out a little bit longer so that I could be interviewed by a student over Skype for a class paper he's writing. I was so flattered to get an email from him last week asking for the interview and although he said that it was only for class, not to be published, I figure if I can help anyone by talking about my misophonia experiences, I would never hesitate to do so. (I just usually ask to see the final write-up when it's done.)
He first asked me about myself in general and then we went into more detail about how misophonia affected my life... When did I first notice it? How do I cope with triggers? Have I done anything extreme to prevent being exposed to triggers? It was interesting talking with him. Although lately I've done my share of thinking about misophonia in my past while I've been working on my memoir, there are some things that came out in trying to answer his questions that I hadn't thought about in a long time. I look forward to reading his paper when it's finished.