Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Toastmasters International - First Speech

I recently became a member of Toastmasters International. Last night I made my first speech:

Speech 1. Ice Breaker
Magic of numbers

Since I am in finance, I decided to tell you about myself using a number. I’ll make a short introduction into my life with a two. As you will see, many things in my life are connected with this number.
I’ve lived in two countries – Russia and Canada.

Since you all know probably more about Canada than I ever will, let me tell you a bit about Russia. Two things about Russia that are not true: not everyone drinks vodka there (I don’t – I tried it couple times and did not like it) and it does not consist of the cold Siberia only. There are plenty of other places as well. And Siberia is not that cold after all – I checked. Two things about Russia I love are my friends whom I had to leave and Russian culture. Two main reasons I decided to immigrate were instability – you literally don’t know what may happen tomorrow and corruption everywhere.

I immigrated to Canada about two years ago and there were two of us – my husband and I. A cat was there as well, but he kind of does not count. We’ve been married for two years and it’s my second marriage. Don’t get me started on the first one, it’s been a rehearsal as I put it.

My two favorite hobbies are travelling and watching movies. I travelled a lot – and the two places I must go back to are Italy and France – they say, every time you visit somewhere, you leave part of your heart behind and then it hurts calling for you. That’s definitely my case with these two countries – I miss them the moment I board a plane.

As for the movies, my two favorites are Forrest Gump and Erin Brockovich. They are a perfect combination of things I like in movies – the plot, the messages, the pace and actor’s play are all awesome. They teach, they entertain, they make you smile and feel empathy, they are thought-provoking.

I speak two foreign languages – English and German and have two Bachelor’s degrees – one in Teaching and the other in Finance.

I currently have two jobs – I am in Finance at Open Text checking that revenue can be recognized without breaking certain strict rules and volunteer as technical editor and writer for a local Russian newspaper.
Two things that are top on my bucket list are to pilot a plane and to learn how to play a guitar. I guess it might take me couple of decades to gather enough courage for the first one – I have aerophobia – I am afraid of flying, my second phobia is wasps. Although I believe the best way of fighting your fear is to face it, I hardly will ever pay an amicable visit to a wasp nest.

I also completely agree with the saying there are two things in life one cannot avoid – taxes and death and it would be nice if they came in a different order!


  1. nice speech, nice idea - the theme of twos woven throughout your speech, touching every aspect of your life - or at least every aspect you decided to share :)

    if you're still keen on higher-level feedback as you indicated yesterday, I'd say the ending needs to a bit more work. Right now it feels like the speech is a bit hanging without a conclusion.

    But overall - really well-articulated speech!

  2. Thanks for the comment!

    I totally agree with the ending issue being there - I have never been good at endings! Will try to improve.

    PS Do you happen to know how to leave comments in your own blog?

  3. Nastyushka,

    Congrats! To me your speech sounds like a very successful start. Especially love the joke about the 1st marriage :) Pretty sure your audience didn't get bored and now everybody is looking forward to your next speech. So am I!