Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toastmaster Speech

I did another speech at Toastmasters this evening. This is the third speech towards my Advanced Communicator Gold award. This is the speech I wrote, though I never give them word for word... just come fairly close. I passed around photos I took while on the ride so people could get a visual.

Speech Manual: Storytelling

Project: #2 – Let’s Get Personal

Title: It’s In My Blood!

Time: 6 – 8 minutes (I went overtime, unfortunately... spoke for 9:21. I am usually really good at keeping within the time)

It’s In My Blood!

Over the years, I loved riding the back of motorcycles, or as my late friend Gill used to call it, “Holding down the back wheel”. I rode on the back of Import bikes, Harleys and BMWs. The last time I rode was with Gill on his BMer... too many years ago to mention.

Having horses to ride helped me to refrain from missing motorcycles too much, and I decided I was much more into horses than Harleys anyway. Now, no longer having horses in my life, I have really been missing them ... terribly.... and that is another story.

Madame Area Governor, Madame Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and Guests.

November 13, 2008, Wendy’s husband Gord passed away suddenly. This spring, Wendy decided to hold a Memorial Ride for Gord who had not only ridden bikes most of his life, but also, as a welder/fabricator build some. I created some posters for Wendy to put up and, being friends, we both wanted me to go along on this ride. I had no one to “pack” me, & Wendy said she’d find me a ride with someone who showed up... so early morning of May 31st I showed up at the North End Tim Horton’s, ready to ride.

“Alice, I found you a ride and everyone’s ready to go.” Wendy said as I was buying my XL cup of tea. I rushed outside where she said, “Alice... Tuggy.” He handed me a helmet saying, “Hi. Put this on.” I took the shiny chrome, German style helmet, strapped it onto my head, and climbed aboard the big red & wine color, Harley Davidson factory built TRIKE. This was my first time ever on a 3 wheeler! We pulled out and flew down the highway with me drinking my tea, sitting comfy & cosy in the big armchair type leather seat.

Putting the empty paper cup into my jacket pocket, I took out my trusty camera and had a great time taking photos as we went along. As much as I enjoyed riding this trike, there was still a part of me that wished I could be riding with one of those good looking, younger men instead of this old guy with the long, scraggly white hair. I came later to be quite grateful I had the ride I did.

First stop was Falkland Pub. I didn’t see my chauffeur for the most part as we both walked around talking to different people. I saw several people I hadn’t seen in many years, and met others for the first time. There were 40+ motorcycles in our group when we arrived, and a few less when we left, headed to the next of Gord’s “Favourite Watering Holes”, the Hideaway Pub in Salmon Arm. We rode back towards Vernon as far as Schweps Bridge, taking the Salmon Valley Road. I always loved riding this road behind Gill and this day was no different. With its many curves & bends it is a wonderful road to ride... though very different on a trike than a bike as you don’t lean the trike. As Tuggy says, you “ride” a bike and “drive” a trike... in 50 years of riding he has a lot of experience on both.

As the beautiful, fairly hot, sunshiny day progressed, we rode to Doc’s Pub in Canoe & The Burner in Malaqwa. From the time we left The Burner I was feeling a deep sadness inside me, battling with the glorious feel of the ‘natural high’ I had savoured all day... we were on the way home.

By the time we arrived at The Branding Iron Pub in Armstrong, I was slightly sunburned and wishing we had a long way to go yet. I was relieved to note once again that Tug was sober where many others weren’t. I was far safer with him than I would have been with any of those good looking younger men I mentioned earlier.

The last leg of the ride took us to my truck where I had left it in Vernon. Tuggy had had enough for the day so was headed home while I was going to Army Navy Air Force$ Club... joining the small group that was still riding. 8 hours, and 246k after I met him, I thanked Tuggy profusely for “packing” me, he said he was happy to and that he’d take me riding again. He was good to his word & took me out 2 or 3 more times over the course of the summer. Not anywhere near enough for me!! All summer I heard bikes flying past my place and my heart went riding with each of them, while my body stayed home, aching to be “in the wind”.

Yes, riding is in my blood, be it on motorcycle or horseback.... and that is why I bought myself a motorcycle this fall. Through the course of the winter, my friend Tuggy will be working on it... converting it to a trike... special built just for me.

Now maybe I will finally miss the horses just a little bit less.

Madame Toastmaster

I got a really good evaluation on this speech, and several people commented later that it was really a great speech. The tips for improvement that the evaluator gave were: 1- share fewer photos, 2- tip on better hand gestures.

No comments: