Wow.  What a DAY!!!!  I’d been anticipating this day for 3 months.  I don’t even know where to start.  How about here- My back is killing me!  I threw my back out carrying my laptop computer yesterday.  How pathetic is that?  That means I’m OLD.  And I need to get my sorry ass back into shape.  This week off of schooling- Meg and I are going to take an hour’s walk every day, just to get going again.  MUST HAPPEN.  Will not enjoy World Championship of Public Speaking if dead.

I made it to bed last night by 11:10-miraculous considering all the stuff that happened to me.  AND I discovered that Chelsea Avery’s keeping tabs on me now and I know what a slave driver SHE is so I’m not giving her any wiggle room.

So seeing as this was billed as an EPIC event, I am going to give you an EPIC review of said event.

In the beginning, Meaghan had her first ever sleepover and it was good.  It was a Friday night, the night before the Big Avery EPIC Event and though it was exciting, Meaghan’s friend was not feeling well so I ended up driving her home at 11:30 at night.  Meg was heartbroken that her friend had to leave so I slept with her (which is nice actually, I love sleeping with my girl) but of course it made for a very short sleeping night.  So I woke up feeling like I might not be as prepared for this EPIC Avery gig as I wanted to be and spent the morning rehearsing my intro’s.   At one point I realized that I needed to stop rehearsing or I was going to lose my voice for the actual event.

I dropped Meaghan off at her godmother’s and off I went to the EPIC event.

I got there super early and was able to rehearse in the room for a good half hour before anyone showed up and it was good.  It was an acoustically beautiful room and it was very good.  A big mouth like mine had no problem carrying up to the top row.  People started to show up then and I started to feel a little jittery.  And then Gene Vickers showed up (he organized the whole shebang) and I realized that I WAS actually going to DO this EPIC thing.

Then the little voices showed up:  Was I out of my league?  Did Margaret Page jump the gun by asking me to do this?   Did she just do it because she has a soft spot for me as my TM mentor?  Is everyone in the room going to wonder how in the world THIS chick got the gig?

Then, the EPIC Averys themselves showed up and I totally forgot about ALL that stuff .

Now, I’ve really been looking forward to meeting Ryan and watching the World Champ do his thing in person.  He has been very much an inspiration to me.  When I say that, it’s not just words, I mean that his actions have inspired some of MY actions and changed my daily life.  I am a better speaker because of him.

That being said, I have to tell you that I was really looking forward to meeting Chelsea!   Seriously.  I was so excited to meet her because I felt like we were already friends.  She and I are totally on the same wavelength.  I love her writing on their blog – she always makes me laugh.  Do check them out:

Avery Today

Well, we gelled in non-cyber life too and it was awesome.  And it was even more awesome when she said she’d been excited to meet me too!  I think that pretty much made my night and folks, I had an amazing night.  Interesting the things that affect us eh?

My daughter also drew  the coolest picture for Ryan and Chelsea and they absolutely gushed over it.  They have both watched Meaghan’s speech on youtube.  How cool is that?

So Ryan packed the house in the Paetzold Theatre at Vancouver General Hospital and it was good.  Yes, you heard me correctly, the venue was a teaching theatre at the hospital.  Hey, we have a BUDGET people.  It’s a great room though and it  holds 250, so EXCELLENT crowd.  And what was even better was the amount of non-Toastmasters that showed up.  We had to have had at least 60 or 70 non TM’s.  Maybe more.  Lives will be changed because of it and THAT is good.

It was a big room with no mike, and it’s not too often you’re encouraged to shout at the top of your lungs but that happens to be one thing I excel at so I was in my element.

Now, I had all these amazing, talented speakers to introduce so all I had to do was reel off their credentials and folks were already impressed.  But the crowd got a great show from everyone.  I was SO proud of them all.  Truly.  And I had an absolute BLAST.  Man it was fun.   I could just do that ALL. DAY. LONG.

My transitions felt good and I got some funny lines in there.  I kept us on time, connected with the crowd, and I felt like I gave the champ the energy he deserved.

We heard Ryan’s EPIC message of re-defining failure and it was good.  I totally took it to heart because there was a time earlier in this year where as my club’s president, I REALLY felt like I was failing.  Big time.  And I have to tell you, that failure did indeed inspire me because I HATE being a loser.  Lol   Just ask my daughter every time we play chess.  (Why else would I play chess with a 6 year old?) (I should add that she beats me about a third of the time.  Ahem.)

One thing that I do wish I had done better was I wish I had plugged Ryan’s product more.  That is a cardinal sin and you can actually go to speaker hell for that.

And can I tell you how much I enjoyed folks letting me know how much they enjoyed the job I did?  My favourite comment was that I “owned the stage”.    And I loved the total stranger older Chinese-Canadian lady who said “You should be next World Champion!  You go for it!”

Lots of World Champ banter being tossed around between Carol Carter and I and it was good.   Carol and I talked a lot about the lack of women at the upper echelon in the speaking world.  We also agreed that this must be remedied immediately.  But that’s a subject for another day.  And one that deserves a lot of ink.

I had to leave earlier than I wanted to and it was not good but I still got like 3 more hugs from Chelsea and a couple more from Ryan and all of my other beloved Toastmasters about whom I was feeling incredibly warm and gushy.  I headed off to my car and discovered to my horror that I had left my interior light on and thought that I was probably going to have to find someone to give me a boost.  Like that’s easy to do at night in Vancouver.  Yes, I blew the no swearing rule there but not as bad as I might have in the past.  I was too happy.

Then I realized I couldn’t find my KEYS and it was NOT GOOD!   I pulled everything out of my purse.  Three times.  A few more swears.  I thought I must have locked them in the trunk and called Margaret Page hoping she was still in the room to see if she could find someone with CAA so I could get in my car.  But instead she said some Honda keys were left in the room and I was off like a SHOT!

I ran two blocks at top speed with my purse, two bags and my laptop banging against my hip, thanking God that when I had my heart attack at least I was already at the hospital.  I ran all the way back to the room to discover…..nothing.  Nobody.  It was not good.  Couple more swears.  I was about to start looking around the massive building when out of the blue I get a text from Vivien Ip!

“Sorry to bug you but I’m paranoid.  Did you leave your car keys behind?”

And the angels sang:


Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Well Viv met up with me and came with me to the lost and found where my keys were even though she didn’t have to.  Nobody had known who the keys belonged to but Viv had seen me put some things down to get my camera out for pictures and deduced that the keys MIGHT be mine.  She checked Facebook to ask me but I just have a regular phone without wifi BUT she found my cell number there, texted me and IT WAS GOOD.  Vivien needs to get herself a job as a detective.

So meeting Chelsea WAS going to be my favourite part of the EPIC night but not having to WALK HOME pretty much rocked too.

Knowing I did the job and did it well fills my heart with confidence.  I am so happy about how it all turned out.

I took a big step forward last night and it was very very good.


I had to upload some video of speeches to send to Rich last week so I think I’ll share one of my old favourites with you.

I’ve learned a TON since giving this speech a year and a half ago and there’s a lot I’d do differently but boy was it a fun speech to give.  This one took 3rd place in the District 21 (all of BC) Humorous Speech Contest in 2011.  Enjoy “Mad Maureen and the Monarch of Mercy”.