margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)

11Mar/073

insects are important

Oh honey, this is sad news. Generally I choose to stay positive here, however this is important to note.

Most people never think about where the food that magically appears at the grocery store comes from and won't until their favourite products start getting a lot more expensive.

Vanishing bees threaten US crops
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6438373.stm
All over America, beekeepers are opening up their hives in preparation for the spring pollination season, only to find that their bees are dead or have disappeared.

Nobody, so far, knows why.

7Mar/071

first speech contest

Today I won my first Toastmasters speech contest and the weekend after next I'll compete at the next level in West Vancouver.

Granted, there were only two contestants, however it still felt good considering at 8 PM last night I was unsure of exactly what I was going to talk about and even briefly pondered quitting the club. I quickly regained composure and remembered how worth doing Toastmasters is.

If you're looking for an opportunity to improve your speaking skills, especially if you're nervous getting up in front of people, I highly recommend Toastmasters. There is probably a club near you. If you live where there are many different clubs, try visiting a few of them as each one is different. Some are quite corporate while others are more entertaining and fun.

Toastmasters
http://www.toastmasters.org
How Toastmasters works.
At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet once a week for about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:

  • Conducting meetings. Meetings usually begin with a short business session which helps members learn basic meeting procedures. Giving impromptu speeches. Members present one-to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics. Presenting prepared speeches. Three or more members present speeches based on projects from the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Projects cover such topics as speech organization, voice, language, gestures, and persuasion.
  • Offering constructive evaluation. Every prepared speaker is assigned an evaluator who points out speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement.

1Mar/071

one step at a time

Today I give thanks that my dream of operating as an Internet professional from a small town on the British Columbia Coast is actually happening.

There have been some emotional and financial dark times that seriously tested my faith. The endurance process has made me strong with optimism in the face of uncertainty (which is a useful life skill!)

I now see and have FAITH that every single thing that has happened, is happening, and will happen are priceless lessons and whatever it is I can handle it. I've been led in auspicious new directions by circumstances that seemed dire at the time.

Life? Bring it on.