Coaches Corner


Toastmaster Connie Akins Uses Pain to Create Music

When Woody Roseland, Connie’s son, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg at age 16, they began a dark and painful journey of many months of doctors, drugs, chemo, surgeries, hospitalizations and struggle. During this time Connie Akins, of Simply Speaking, began playing the piano as a medicine for her soul. Out of this difficult time she created more than 30 beautiful and deeply moving songs. This led to a CD and her first concert at the Holy Love Lutheran Church in Aurora on October 23d where she used her toastmaster skills to tell stories she had written about a master glass blower and “The Girl With the Crippled Hands” interspersed with her beautiful piano songs. Gail Hamilton, a fellow Toastmaster overflowing

from Toastability, shared her magnificent and classically trained voice and played her Auto Harp. In addition, Woody, now 20 years old and a junior at Metro, entertained the audience with some very funny standup comedy poking fun at cancer. Connie was supported by 15 members of her Simply Speaking Club as well as about 60 others. “The whole experience was awesome,” said IPDG Alan Swartz,” because Connie truly went to another level with her stories and music. She poured out her soul like I have never seen, even in her Toastmaster speeches. It was an inspirational experience for everyone who was there.” Connie and Gail are planning another concert together early in 2011.

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Toastmasters Leadership Institute – Denver, Red Rocks Com. College
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