Hey everyone. The TED talk from January is here. This one was a long, strange trip to bring from idea to the stage. Mayhap I’ll go into it at some point. Until then: Check it out and let me know what you think!
Here’s my Toastmasters Speech Contest Speech from this year. Some of you have probably already seen a version of this one. If that’s the case: oh well. I did this one two years ago and lost in Round 3, but I always felt like there was MORE to it than what I was doing. So I tried it again this year and I feel like I got close enough to what I felt the speech was supposed to be that I can put this one to bed.
I didn’t win this year. I didn’t even place. I kinda felt that was going to be the case, because the message is kinda Hallmark-y, and a lot of the staging is a bit over the top. I can also see LOTS of ways to improve on future speeches, and that’s what I hope for when I go into a contest: to get better.
1) I planned to do the speech in present tense but, when I started, accidentally slipped into past tense, so I had to edit present vs past on the fly as I was going. That keeps you on your toes.
2) I lost my place there for a moment right before I go over to yell at Eliott. Nothing stops your heart like being on stage in front of a few hundred accomplished speakers, with your brain going: “Holy ****. I can’t remember what the hell I’m supposed to say next.”
3) I need to lose weight. GOOD LORD.
I may or may not take a year off in 2020. I still haven’t decided. At any rate, making it to District three times in four years ain’t too shabby, especially since I won District once and placed third in the semis. It would have been nice to go all the way this year, but, as I am fond of saying about some of my favorite sports teams: He who loses and walks away can lose again another day.
There’s always next year!
I spoke at the Athanatos Christian Arts Festival in Wisconsin over the weekend, and we had a great time. I got to meet some friends I’ve known only through social media – friends like Joe Courtemanche and Jamie Greening – and I finally got to meet Dan Flecknoe in person. Dan and I, with Tony Horvath, have been debating/discussing God and faith and other matter for going on two decades now. Dan, an Atheist, and I, a Christian, are working on a book together on the subject, and the three of us met on stage for four debates/discussions, each of which was an hour and a half.
I say “discussion” in addition to “debating,” because what stands for debate these days amounts largely to two or three people yelling bad slogans at each other on Facebook or Twitter or, if we’re REALLY unlucky, up close and in person. With placards. And maybe weapons, too.
It’s different with us, though. We disagree, sometimes quite strenuously, but we remain friends. I think the difference is we are actually interested not only in WHAT the other side thinks, by WHY they think it as well. Being friends for so long also gives us the luxury of being able to seriously question our own assumptions and ideas. That’s where the real fun starts: learning to look at something.
The big win for me out of all of this was showing people that you can disagree about something and still have respect for each other when you’re finished. Respect is something sorely lacking in today’s world.
Hey there, people. I’ll be sharing the stage with my friends: Dr Anthony Horvath, Daniel Flecknoe, and Tim Austin in a series of debates on religion, spirituality, politics, social issues, and more at the Christian Arts and Apologetics festival ATHANATOSFEST in Wisconsin in August. I hope to see you there!