Thursday, December 5, 2013

Speech Night at St. Luke's

Last night we held the first annual speech-giving night at St. Luke's Homeless Shelter.

It was pretty fun.

Our community group brings dinner once a month to the men at St. Lukes, and the best part is that we stay and have dinner there too -- not just dropping off food. Last month, I got in a conversation with one of the men, Andre, about Toastmasters.

Little known fact: I am in Toastmasters International. Actually, I'm the secretary/treasurer for our club at work. If you aren't familiar with it, Toastmasters is a public speaking club, and it's one of my favorite monthly meetings that I attend. I get to both give and hear and evaluate speeches about all kinds of things that are far from the typical workday conversations. I've heard speeches about mountain climbing and giant fruits, donating your hair to charity, and the difference between the terms "nerd," "dork," and "dweeb." (Oh yes, there are differences.)

When I brought up Toastmasters last month at St. Lukes, Andre was intrigued. He and I decided to both come prepared last night to give a 3-5 minute speech. Well, because of a little bit of forgetfulness and a little bit of stage fright, we instead decided to each give a 1-3 minute speech on a random topic. The next few minutes were the most fun I've had all week.

And it's on film!

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And here we go.

My topic? The greatest basketball player of all time.

Oh Lordy. (FYI, the speeches have to be broken up in separate clips... I didn't have the software on my lap top to splice it all together... Next time! And I think you have to watch them on an actual computer and not an iPhone or tablet.)

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Aaron Bird? Know him? Sort of like Aaron Burr? As in, Thomas Jefferson's vice president? Yea...

Aaron Bird, Larry Bird. TomAto, TomAHto.

Whatever.

Then, Andre was up. He got the topic of "Outer Space" and ended up talking about space travel.

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Pretty good I think!

And then Anna went. Her topic was "riding a bike."

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Cute Anna. She makes me want a twin!

Next up was A.J., and his topic was...

Wait for it...

"The realistic influence of Star Trek, the TV series." What??? I am SO GLAD I didn't get this topic.

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I think A.J. is a born natural. He worked in youth ministry for 20 years so I'm not surprised... it's not easy captivating the young minds of tomorrow.

My next topic was "Lime or Lemon?"

This was not easy!

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I guess lemon takes the cake. And yes, citrus fruits are effervescent. No doubt.

Last but not least, A.J. finished the night with the topic of "food." Here is the last half of his speech:

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"I highly recommend food."

Man, so do I!

It's a real treat to get to spend time at St. Luke's each month, and I think last night was one of the best nights yet. Anna had to leave early to get to a Christmas party on the Hill, and she said this to me later: "I couldn't help thinking about the juxtaposition of my night. Starting at St. Lukes and then going to a place where people want to be seen and are caught in the DC ladder climb -- this was eye-opening. It really put things into perspective for me about what truly matters and what Advent is really about."

Tis the season.


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