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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My journey to the stage

Most often we watch movies that leave us speechless. That was my case when I saw “The Ultimate Gift” for the first time. It's a must see movie. Very inspirational. I won't ruin the party by telling you the whole story. Watch it if you don't believe me.

After watching it for the fourth time, I started thinking about what I would like to do when I grow up (I consider myself still young. Just look at my picture, you will see). I kept thinking about it for an entire week. Then one day, I went on the computer and I started writing. It took me two weeks, at the end of which I came up with a nine page document (I will be a very busy man when I grow up).

My next move was to print it out and put it on the wall where I could see it every time I wake up (what else would I see? I sleep alone!!). It was fun to look at my future every morning. But after a while I got fed up with the picture I was seeing. I had to do something. Then I asked myself: “What shall I begin with?” And then something inside told me:”Public speaking”. Why not? I thought. I've done it before. I was a teacher, I was a basketball coach and I am doing radio. That would be an easy transition.

But I had no clue how the industry worked, or how I could become a professional speaker. At that time, I was reading a book written by one of the top speakers in the industry. At one moment, he mentioned that he was part of Toastmasters International (a club that trains people to become speakers). I thought...hmm. That would be a start.

Then I went online, I searched for a club that would be near where I was living. I found one, but they were meeting every Thursday evening. I couldn't do it. It was at the same time I was doing my radio show. As I was reading the information, a co-worker of mine knocked at my door. I opened and she went: “Have you heard about Toastmasters International?” Was she reading my mind or what? I showed her what I was reading and she laughed. Do you think it wasn't meant to be?

She then told me that there was a club downtown, they met at lunch time for an hour every Thursday. Needless to say that I became member of the club and went on competing against other clubs (as I am writing this blog, I am smiling as I am looking at a trophy I received recently.....Another tap on my shoulder please).

That was not the funny part. The same week I knew about Toastmasters, I overheard another co-worker of mine saying that United Way Toronto was looking for speakers to help in their fundraising campaign. What do you think I did? One year later, I have done over 40 events for The United Way, and I know that there are many more to come.

I won't even mention a great training I went to in Dallas Texas (stay tuned for another blog about my journey to Texas).

There is no moral to the story other than being aware of what the co-workers are saying. It may help.

Always a pleasure.

The Journeyman.

1 comment:

  1. You are a great speaker Journeyman! I know because I have been dazzled everytime I've seen you on stage and off!

    Great post!