From Toastmasters to Real World

I would have never done my speech like that in the real world. Toastmasters’ is safe.”

That was the first thing I heard when I joined the conversation. A fellow Toastmaster had given a speech, received feedback and I thought nothing more of it until I heard that line later in the meeting.

The idea that speeches in Toastmasters are different from the real world is an understandable concept. Toastmasters is undoubtedly safe, and it’s that security that gives me the courage to push my own personal speech boundaries. Using props and costumes? I’ve tried that. Running around on stage? Yup. Breaking out into (horrible) song? Two weeks ago I was finally brave enough, and jumped in with my eyes closed.

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Trusting in the Relatable

We stand on the shoulders of giants.

In my previous life as a Science major, that quote stuck with me. Our forefathers (and mothers) made major discoveries and obtained knowledge that we take for granted today. Often we use that gained knowledge to form our own experiments, make our own discoveries, write our own papers, etc.

Except I always had the thought of “everything that can be written about, has already been written about, how on earth can I come up with something original?”

I had the same approach when I first tried writing speeches for Toastmasters. In amongst trying to get a handle on my nerves, I was trying to find a topic I could “teach” to the audience. I was (and still am) considered young in comparison to the average age of a Toastmaster, everything I have experienced in my short life, my audience has already experienced, many times over. 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


The other week a new member gave a speech. She engaged the audience, she was passionate about the topic and she educated us on something we knew very little about. There was just one problem: the introduction was short and she spent at least another minute on (additional) introductions before she really got into the meat of the talk. In my opinion, that was a minute she could have spent engaging and showing her passion, rather than on introductions. 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

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

Epic Weekend: Darren LaCroix

I think I have had a pretty Epic weekend (so much so I want to blog about all my experiences) but I need to separate it into multiple parts, to make it easier to digest.

Friday night was the anticipated Humour 101 Event with Darren LaCroix. He is known as the guru of humour. The guru that has the amazing “rags to riches” tale (he bombed during his first comedy routine, and has had to work to get to the funny platform that he is on today). Did I mention he also won the 2001 International Speaking Contest? Continue reading

Post-win pressure (on myself)

I’m finally working on speeches from the Humorously Speaking (Advanced) Manual. I’m praying that lightning strikes twice with my humour, and that my speech wasn’t just a “one-speech” wonder. I had done one humorist speech at my club post-win, it had gone well, but last Friday was the first time I would journey outside of my own club and do a humorist speech.

My first speech outside of the comforts of my home club. My first humorous speech outside of the comforts of  my home club. Continue reading