Teamwork and Leadership

For the past few months in Toastmasters, I have been crossing off bucket-list items. One item is to complete my Competent Leadership (CL) manual. (Yes, I still don’t have my CL award. Imagine that.)

To obtain my CL, I would have to chair a speech contest. It still took a mentor giving me a very strong nudge before I contacted the VP of Ed to sign up to chair my club’s Humorous and Table Topics contest. He responded within the hour: congratulations, I was contest chair!

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Speaker’s Showcase: The Morning After

My eyes popped open this morning just before my alarm was set to ring. Through the sleepy haze and howling wind outside, my mind asked me: Did yesterday really happen? Continue reading

Two Words for Humour

A few months ago at a club meeting, one Toastmaster asked another member the following question:

“In two words, how would you describe how you incorporate humour?”

The question spawned my own internal challenge. If I could describe my own take on incorporating humour in two words, which two would I choose?

After months of deliberation, I finally came up with my answer.

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Remembering: One Year Ago

It is time. Fall of 2013 and in the Toastmasters’ World, that means the season has started for the Humorist and Table Topics Contests. Thousands of Toastmasters will come together to compete; they will be trying their hardest to make you laugh your butt off, or they will be trying their hardest to answer thought-provoking questions on the spot.

It is almost one year to the day when I stepped in front of my own home club and delivered my own Humorist Speech. I could have never known how far I would get to go.

Before my reign comes to an end at the 2013 Fall Conference, I’d like to hog the spotlight for a little longer and take a quick stroll down memory lane. Please allow me to share the video of my speech at the 2012 Fall Conference for District 21 (Richmond, BC), a speech that would allow me to win First Place at the Humorist Speech Contest.

Ladies and gentlemen, my speech: Mistaken Identity.

I hope you enjoy it.

What I Learned from Toastmasters (Comedians)

“By the looks of it, the contestants at the District Humorist Contest must be funny enough to rival stand-up comedians.”

That was something I said to a friend of mine (at the start of the Humorist journey) as we looked down the long path from club to district. Never in a million years did I believe I would be among them. Over the years (yes, years) of trying new jokes and bombing those same jokes here is my vote for advice I would want to give to others. These are a few of the points I have learned from my experience in the Humorist Contest. Continue reading

What I Learned from Watching Stand-Up Comedians

Laughter is the best medicine; that was a outlook on life my mother tried to instill in me from an early age.

To say I watched a lot of stand-up comedy on TV was (at one point in my life) an understatement. I want to quickly go over a few things I have learned from watching stand-up comedians perform, whether it is on TV or live. I don’t want to focus so much on their techniques on how to be funny; if you are interested, Darren LaCroix teaches these techniques extremely well. Continue reading

The Story Behind: The Hat

The other day I dashed from work to my Area’s International Speech and Evaluation Contest. I was there for three reasons: 1) To support my club member that had advanced to the Area level, 2) support the Area contest as a whole, and 3) be the test speaker.

I knew I could worm my way into the Area level contest because the Area Governor this year is also a member of my club; it was super easy to approach him and volunteer. He graciously accepted and I was pumped I would get to speak! (What a change from only a few years ago). Continue reading

Starstruck Champ

I peel open my eyes, throw back the covers, and stumble to the kitchen. I stare at the food and think, “I’m too lazy. It will either be instant noodles or microwave dinners for breakfast.” (It turned out to be instant noodles for breakfast AND microwave dinners for lunch.) I would joke they are the meal plan of champions, except I know of two that are succeeding with a 50-day eating healthy challenge (hint hint, Avery’s).

Sunday morning. After waiting for almost three months and experiencing two EPIC events where I got to see The Avery’s, it is all over. There’s this slight sense of “now what?” but the excitement from having met them will linger on. Continue reading

One Hot Grandmother

Epic Week Part 2. This past Friday I was invited to take part in (what I have dubbed) “Champion Speech Night” where Trinity Western Toastmasters’ club has invited Ryan Avery (World Champion!), Carol Carter (BC International Champion!), and myself (starstruck BC Humorous Champion). I made arrangements with my (awesome) boss to let me leave a few hours early from work, before hopping into my car and swan-diving into grid-lock traffic on the highway. For most of the drive there I was on pins and needles. Would I be the only Champion that would arrive embarrassingly late to such a great event? Continue reading