And the winner of the Division Contest is…

…me?! Me! Me.

This past fall I competed at the District 21 Table Topics Contest. In a few short weeks, I will be competing at the District 96 International Speech Contest. The minute after I won the Division Contest, I texted my mentor Joe and tell him he was right: he had long ago predicted I would end up at District. I still find it hard to sink in because I have always viewed speeches for the International needing to be the triple threat: inspirational, motivational, humorous. I feel like my speech does not mean any single one.

Continue reading

Poise of a Champion

Monday night I found myself attending the local Division L International Speech and Evaluation Contest after receiving an invitation from a friend. This was the first non-home Division contest I attended, and I was quite happy to see a number of familiar faces.

One of those familiar faces was a Toastmaster by the name of Chris Archer. We had never been formally introduced (I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t know my name) but I had seen his speech on Saturday when he presented his speech at the famous Just Pros Dragon’s Den. Both versions of the same speech were almost the same, word for word: a great speech then and a great one now.

Yet, something was different. Continue reading

Exciting News: I’m Branching Out!

A lot can happen in such a short amount of time. If you had told me a year ago I would get to spend a year as the funniest Toastmaster in B.C., create this blog, and get to meet all the individuals I have met along the way, I would have tried my hardest not to laugh.

Yet, here I am.

I’m excited to say I have recently become a part of the How to Be a Speaker community, co-founded by Ryan Avery, 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, and Dr. Randy Harvey, 2004 World Champion of Public Speaking. I’ll be contributing by writing articles and learning from other great individuals.

Click on the link below to visit the How to Be a Speaker Community!

How To Be a Speaker.com

Division Contest (Part 2)

I’m fairly confident nobody came to the Division Contest to hear me speak as Sergent-At-Arms. I am also fairly confident the vast majority in the audience came here to listen to the speakers and evaluators go head-to-head that evening. Continue reading

Division Contest (Part 1)

The Division F Contest occurred a few evenings ago. As usual, I rushed to the venue straight from work, which meant I was there a full hour early, and I wasn’t even competing! Wandering around in the lobby, I turned around to come face to face with none other than Paula who had traveled far and wide just to attend this event.

It was an evening of highs, excitement, personal flub-ups and shock and awe. 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

Winding Down

What would you cross the Grand Canyon to tell me?
– Chelsea Avery

Those were the inspirational words spoken to Ryan Avery by his wife, chelsea (she is one amazing lady). Whatever he was crossing the Grand Canyon to tell her, that message would have to be important, inspirational and what he truly believed in. And that message was his Championship Speech. Continue reading

More Expectations; Lab Tests

I went to an Open House last night and met a number of great people from all across the region. Never had I seen such an enthusiastic chair, or such a detailed grammarian, or an Icebreaker speech that had everyone in tears (of laughter) – ladies’ and gentlemen, this may just be next years’ Humorous Winner!

When the Chair found out my status for 2012-2013, there was no escaping (I mean that in the best way possible). He volunteered me for the role of a Speech Evaluator, and when he was doing introductions, he said how fortunate we were to have such and such a person show up, on the day the Humorist had called in sick. Continue reading

The Speech

As I type in the last few words, I sit back and marvel at my small accomplishment. I have done it, I have finished a speech for the International Speech contest. Over the last few weeks I have been constantly flip-flopping between two main sets of ideas, and sets of stories for the speech. I have only managed to write down this one speech out onto paper (screen?) I feel like I am putting all of my eggs into one basket, and not even my best basket at that.

Is it funny? Not like my other speech.
Is it inspiring? I can only hope so.
Is it good? Continue reading

Sewing for the International

All I have written for my International speech.

All I have written for my International speech.

International Speech Competition. The biggest and highest level of competition on the Toastmasters’ stage. Win this, and you’ll join the elite rank of Toastmasters that have been crowned the Best Speakers in the World. For the upcoming contest (2013) all eligible contestants will be performing in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Continue reading