Ian at his best (or so I thought). He spoke passionately to the 1600 people in attendance. He delivered his message and held the audience spellbound for seven minutes. While he did not take home the first place trophy and title, he realized this was but one stop along the way. He returned home more confident, more focused, determined to deliver his message to those who need to hear it. He realized that the journey was actually just beginning. He knew there is life after competing at the International Convention and he was determined to deliver his message convinced someone needed to hear it.
WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS TOASTMASTERS TALK. Soon after returning from California, Ian was invited to speak to a group of educators. Then came this invitation: “Deliver a motivational message designed to peak the audience’s interest and motivate them to succeed to their potential.” On the surface not too difficult until you find out the audience will be 500 7th graders. That was the opportunity handed to Ian, and on Thursday, September 30, I was privileged to sit on the front bleacher and witness a master in action – this was Ian at his best. For 45 minutes he held the young audience spellbound as he told his personal story of rising above multiple abusive situations, foster homes, and prison. But it was more than a story as he motivated the 7th graders at Prairie Middle school to create their own success story. He challenged them to visualize their dreams while repeatedly driving home the mantras
"Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something"
and more importantly "Never give up!"
What does this all mean? YOU AND I HAVE A MESSAGE THAT SOMEONE NEEDS TO HEAR. We just need the courage to step forward and tell it. Not just in our own club but to a wider audience. Toastmasters offers the opportunity, all we all have to do is take advantage of every opportunity including speech contests.