Once you join Toastmasters, one of the first things that you will do is to give your ice breaker (speech #1).
In my experience, I find the ice breaker to be a good predictor of whether you will pursue your goals in Toastmasters. If you felt like you did great, you will want to give more speeches. If you felt like you did horribly (I know I did), you will be tested on your grit. You can quit (don't!) or rise to the challenge and work to become better next time.
One advice that I'd like to give new members is to practice. My ice breaker went horribly because I didn't practice. After all, I'm talking about myself. How hard can this be? Haha, I learned my lesson and began to write down my speeches and practice, practice, practice.
To show what you can do, I asked Diana, a new member, if I can share her ice breaker. Diana delivered a very organized, inspirational speech, and let me know that she had prepared an outline. I hope that Diana's ice breaker will inspire you to give your ice breaker soon. We are all here for you!
Title: Life's Inspiration
Date: August 7, 2017
Project: Competent Communication #1 (The Ice Breaker)
Thank you, Mr. Toastmaster. Ladies and gentlemen and guests:
Have you ever dreamed you could fly?
Growing up as a child of 6, living at a dead-end street in a small CT town, your imagination = only source of inspiration
Imagination = source of sanity when surrounded by 100 acres of wood
Being inspired and inspiring others = continual theme of my life:
Living on my own
1. Growing up in a neighborhood of only boys wasn't easy.
4 brothers & neighborhood of 8 other boys
"included meant" = being tough and taking risks, "death-defying risks"
old railroad clearing to waterfall, climbing over floating fence, climb giant boulders to reach top of 100 ft. dam
standing at the top of dam = sense of accomplishment, pride and thankful i was alive
realized how inspiring and exhilarating = to overcome my physical fears = kind of like Rocky Balboa with Eye of the Tiger playing in my head
2. Being a teenager was not any easier for me as I struggled with my identity and self-esteem.
As a teen = constantly fought with brothers & neighborhood boys
Until an angel came into my life = Charles LaVoie
First employer that almost didn't happen
summer after 8th grade = applied for work/school program
"I only work with college interns" = "NO" a few times
My coordinator persisted = I was hired
summer job = 12 years of personal and career growth
She became example of change, stood up for others, didn't back down from bullies
Inspired me to stand up for myself, to believe in myself, to make a difference and further my education
3. So now here I was, inspired by Charlene, ready to achieve my dream of a college, but being 4th in a line of 6 siblings made it seem impossible.
No college money from parents
1st sibling out of 6 to go to college
Worked 3 jobs = senior year = got in
Took it a step further = 1st in my family to travel outside the country
traveled to Italy
visited = Cinque Terra
alone in a kayak out in the ocean
suddenly had a fish hook in my hand
Had to face fear, stand up for myself and take action
Screamed for fishing boat to stop and remove hook
My willingness to face my fears
Step into the unknown of college and study abroad
Taught me I could achieve on my own
But also inspired my younger siblings to think big, see new possibilities like a degree or international travel
4. Stepping out on my own was like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
First full-time job I worked for startup = acquired by Austin Co.
Offered to move me = Austin, Texas (escape 6-8 months of winter)
Historically my family never left CT = 1st time leaving my family
50% excited & 50% freaked out
Moved to Austin
Left CT with snow. Landed in hot 96 degrees - I was melting
1st cookout = thought it would be hamburgers and hotdogs, NOT brisket and pulled pork
Austin = like living in a foreign country
Being like Dorothy, finding inner strength and inspiration to follow a path to the unknown, like Austin, was rewarding.
It inspired me to never stop dreaming,
To never give up, to discover real courage by facing my fears
and to learn that I could accomplish anything.
As you can see from my life's experiences, a willingness to dream, to take risks, to be inspired and to inspire others in the end provided me the greatest gift of all:
I say to you - Dream, fly, and [discover your inner imagination] so you too can become an inspiration for others.
Thank you, Mr. Toastmaster.
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