Becoming Distinguished

When I first joined Toastmasters International, I was in awe of those Toastmasters who visited our fledgling club to assist us with learning what to do and how to do it and, right from that first meeting back in February 2011, I set my sights on attaining the highest level of educational recognition Toastmasters International bestows upon a member – the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award.

But a DTM doesn’t come easy.  It takes hard work and dedication, as well as service and commitment and, more often than not, the journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and can take years to accomplish.  For me, it took 7½years.
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My Winning Speech

As promised, below you will find the words that make up my winning speech.  I say words because, as with all good speeches, words alone cannot convey the three key elements of vocal variety that were so essential to the delivery of this speech – pace, pitch and pause.

Some of you might feel an element of familiarity regarding the story, and indeed, this speech began as a much longer speech (Making Spaghetti) that I wrote more than 18 months ago and shared here on my blog soon after I first delivered it at a club meeting.

Some months later, several actually, one of my fellow members mentioned how good that speech was and that it would make a terrific speech for the Humorous Speech Contest.  Thank you, Judith, for sewing the seeds of inspiration in my mind.
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My Main Distractor

I love blogging.  Sharing my thoughts and my photos.  Although I know I’m no pro photographer, I do try to take decent shots of the things that interest me and I love sharing them here on my blog.  As for the writing aspect, sitting here typing away is therapeutic, cathartic almost, and I look forward to doing it regularly.

I do get a little despondent when something takes me away from it.  However, that does depend upon ‘what’ that something is and Toastmasters is my main distractor.  But a distraction I am ok with.
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Mesmerizing Fascination

It’s no great secret that I love the Moon.  This blog is full of pictures I’ve taken (and stories I’ve told) about my fascination for that beautiful, big, natural satellite that dances around our planet in synchronous rotation.  

I find it quite bewildering that as the Moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the Sun, and each rotates upon its own axis, the end result is a ballet of grace and beauty that sees the same side of the Moon always facing towards the Earth.

For me, this is a mesmerizing fascination that compels me to ‘look up’ as often as possible.
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Time To Shine

Despite the primal fears of most adults (yes, I know I’m generalising), I love speaking in front of an audience and am not afraid to do so.

However, I must admit, my comfort didn’t happen naturally.  Laughed at and ridiculed at school because I couldn’t pronounce the word ‘specific’*, I know I withdrew into a shell and stopped raising my hand when the teacher asked for volunteers to read out loud.  I was 14 years old and felt like I’d lost my voice.
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