Remarks: How Confections are like Conventions

Rough notes from my opening remarks as Toastmaster at my club.

Do you like sweets? Confections? Do you remember the jelly bean craze? (Ronald Reagen). Bite into one and never know what you are getting.

Or buy fudge: outdoor market. Never know.

Or Christmas box chocolates.

You do not quite know what you get from these confections.

You bought the box on a friend’s recommendation. Hope it good, the box that is, and the friend. Not know what to expect.

Can read the box, the ingredient list. Know they be good. Not know what to expect.

Bite in, taste that sweetness (marzipan, hint of cinnamon, dark chocolate and pecan, hint of coffee bean, Irish cream.

Before you had it, read about it, not know what to expect. Bite into a confection, and it is so worth it. Confections!


Like confections: other things in life. Read about. Talk to friends/associates. Sounds good. Not know what to expect until you experience it.

Like confections, conventions and conferences are same way: read about them (brochure, website), talk to past attendees. Not know what to expect. But, like biting into a fine Frenc\ pastry with whipped cream and a touch of lemon, they are worth it.


You have the opportunity to experience a convention, and like eating a double glazed doughnut, you will not be disappointed: D21 Spring Conference, May 8-10, in Victoria.

Me: attended two TM Spring: Nanaimo and Kelowna. Well worth going. Meet new people, take part in useful education sessions, listen to dynamic keynote speakers, follow a high stakes speech contest, and enjoy the food and company. If you joined TM to be able to speak to strangers: what a great opportunity: you are all in this together.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up.


When I attend conventions and conferences, I am a sponge: What can I soak up? How much can I learn? What can I leave with and carry with me afterwards, into my speeches, my business, and my life.

If you go with such an attitude, that you are a sponge, you will find all conventions and conferences to be worth it, just like fine French pastries or a box of Swiss chocolates.

Today’s theme: conventions and conferences, and I encourage you to be a sponge, and attend our upcoming convention.

Helping me to encourage you, and excite you about conferences, is our team of dedicated TMs.

Toastmasters Speech Contest 2014: Division A, District 21

I competed against five other contestants from this division, and won! I get to keep the big trophy for a year – still to be engraved. The crystal award I keep. I am very pleased to have won. Now I will plan my trip to Kelowna for the next level: District championship.

Junior Toastmasters

An eight-week Toastmasters program has been running near my neighborhood, and yesterday I attended a session. I brought my Golden Gavel trophy and was one of the Mystery Masters with that trophy. The program is put on by the Goldstream Toastmasters club and open to youth aged 12 to 17. It was great! I really enjoyed it, and can see real potential in communication skills, presentation skills, and public speaking, from many of the participants.

During the session on Voice Projection I spoke about channeling nervousness into a body part, and about using shouting, early in a speech, to grab the audience’s attention.

Protected: Golden Gavel Preliminary Speech: Always Be Nice To People

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Winner of the 67th Golden Gavel 2013 Speech Contest

I entered the Golden Gavel public speaking contest and won!