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Toastmasters: Ice-Breaker

July 3, 2018

I joined Toastmasters this year to help me develop better public speaking skills. I decided to publish my speeches on my blog. You’ll find them under the Toastmasters category.

The first Toastmaster’s speech is the “ice-breaker”. Members are supposed to use this speech to introduce themselves to their Toastmaster’s club. After a few weeks of thinking about how best to do this, I came up with:

I identify as a heterosexual, cis-gender female; a descendant of white European colonial settlers.

Yes — after weeks of thinking, that is all I came up with. Then I started to research why it was so hard for me to talk about myself. I did some personality analysis — that’s right analysis and research — and determined that my personality type is INTJ.

That led me to do a personality typing quiz from 16personalities.com. The 16Personalities quiz, which takes about 10-15 minutes of your time, is based on the Myers-Briggs framework as well as the Big Five personality types. You may have come across these kinds of categorizations in your workplace but for those of you who have not, I will explain.

The 16Personalities test divides your personality into four main factors; Mind, Energy, Nature, and Tactics each with its own sliding scale.

Mind

The first scale is for MIND and measures how we act in our surroundings and indicates the degree of introversion or extroversion. I lean towards introversion. Actually, I lean very heavily on the introversion side of the scale. I prefer solitary activities and although I do attend social events, I find them very draining. I much prefer small groups to large parties.

My youth was spent reading books, playing with my dog or having one friend over for a play date. When I was young, I was extremely pleased when we went to our summer cottage with no electricity, no running water, and very few people around! I prefer non-team sports such as swimming or horse riding. Often, introverts think animals are better than people.

Energy

The Energy category reveals how we see the world. The two sides to this scale are Intuitive (N) and Observant (S). Intuitive people rely on their imagination, ideas, and possibilities while the Observants focus on the actual world and things happening around them. I found that I am closest to the Intuitive N side.

Intuitive people, love research (I had to research how to do a speech about myself) and learning and discovering new things. However, I’m not totally over to the N side of the scale. I do have some Observant (S) tendencies. I love my routines and I value highly practical and realistic solutions to any problems that I’m trying to solve but I prefer to find new and innovative solutions to solve those problems.

It’s no surprise that my curiosity and problem-solving desires led me into the sciences. I had thought about being an astronaut (until I experienced riding roller coasters). After that, engineering appealed to me. However, my Observant tendencies prevented me from seeing more than three dimensions in 2nd year university multi-dimensional calculus. I ended up with a M.Sc. in Food Chemistry.

Nature

The Nature scale reveals how we deal with emotions and what role they play in our decision-making. People on the Thinking side, prefer logic and rational arguments. They follow their heads rather than their hearts. People on the Feeling side follow their hearts and express emotions easily.

I’m very strongly on the Thinking side. Here’s how Thinking people deal with their emotions.

They don’t.

This tends to give us the reputation of being cold-hearted. We’re not, we just prefer that rationality over-rule personal feelings about something. If you’re looking to sell a Thinking person something, don’t try to get us to feel how good it is. Tell us the specs and we’ll decide whether or not it is worth the money.

Thinking people expect logical and rational thought processes to drive all arguments and tend to become extremely frustrated with those who defend their position because they feel it’s just right. On the other hand, Thinking people will easily change their mind on a subject if you present logical, well-thought out arguments backed-up by references in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Tactics

The two ends of the Tactics scale are Judging (J) and Prospecting (P). They describe our approach to work, planning, and decision-making. Judging people value structure, clarity, predictability, organization, and planning. Prospectors are flexible and relaxed. They are nonconformists who prefer keeping their options open and spotting opportunities.

I am very much on the Judging side of the scale. I love order, structure, and the scientific method! Besides the M.Sc., I also have a Certificate in Records and Information Management and I was an organizing and productivity consultant for almost 10 years.

Many of you might be asking how I cope with the erratic uncertainty that is military life. The answer is: I have a plan! Actually, I have many plans. My imagination (N factor) has gone into overdrive and imagined every possibility and created a plan for each one and discussed them in great detail with all of the people inside my head.

My Type – INTJ

Based on this quiz my personality type is INTJ, The Architect. Famous INTJs you may know include Star Trek’s Mr. Spock and Seven of Nine, and Dr. House.

If there are INTJs in your life, here’s a humorous article that might help you understand how to relate to them.

And now you know all about me…

I identify as a heterosexual, cis-gender female; a descendant of white European colonial settlers with an INTJ personality.

One Comment
  1. Janet Barclay permalink
    July 3, 2018 15:51

    I’m not surprised that you’re INTJ. Look forward to reading more of your speeches!

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