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CalmandStrong: The Connection

On May 24th, I completed my sixth advanced manuals speech (16th overall) for Toastmasters at CSUSB. My speech was entitled, “CalmandStrong: The Connection,” which was about my connection with the inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.

My speech was accompanied by a PowerPoint Presentation that had images from when I was sick with cancer as a teenager and when I became a hip amputee. I also had images and videos from inFAMOUS that helped tell my story. To check out pictures from when I was sick with cancer at 14 and 17 years old and much more, click here:

I started my speech with a quote from my favorite Hip-Hop Artist Nas.

“When everything around me got cloudy, the chair became a king’s throne, my destiny found me. It was clear why the struggle was so painful. Metamorphosis, this is what I changed to and God, I’m so thankful.”

- Nas, You’re Da Man, Stillmatic

To check out Nas’ You’re Da Man, click here:

My evaluator loved that I used this unique quote from Nas to begin my speech because it was very powerful. She noticed I connected my personal story perfectly to the quote, which gave my speech a more powerful impact on the audience.

She thought it was extraordinary that I could take the audience through my emotional journey in a very appropriate way. My speech was easy to follow, and the audience understood the process of what I had to go through being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee.

She also noted my ability to organize my speeches have sky rocketed since I first joined the club almost two years ago.

My evaluator also suggested that I should only use images within my PowerPoint, and not play a video in the background with no sound while I was speaking because it can be distracting for some of the audience.

When I’m in pre-production and coming up with new ideas for my speech. My goal is to create something I would enjoy if I were in the audience. I feel talking about my connection with inFAMOUS while showing a montage video of Cole displaying his electricity superpowers and a slideshow video displaying his origin story is interesting, because it’s unexpected.

I would say that the overall response from the videos I used within my PowerPoint was split among the audience. Some liked it, and others thought it was distracting. I decided that I’m going to keep being creative by connecting my superhero story to inFAMOUS and my favorite superhero: Cole MacGrath.

My evaluator also noticed when I said a sentence, my voice dropped at the end, and she suggested to work on that because that’s where the power is.

I planned on using the introduction video from the original inFAMOUS to help bring the audience into my speech, but the audio wasn’t working. The universe didn’t want the video to be present during my speech and I was disappointed, but I knew it wasn’t the end of the world and I still performed great.

Overall, I’m proud of myself for completing my sixth advanced manuals speech, and the reaction I got was mostly positive with people coming up to me saying they enjoyed my speech.

To check out my “CalmandStrong: The Connection” speech video, click here:

* In my previous blogs, I said I was going to perform at CSUSB poetry night “Speak Yo Truth” and go to Relay for Life by the American Cancer Society. I didn't attend these events, due to feeling mentally exhausted, because I've been going-and-going every time a new opportunity presents itself.

* During this past week, I’ve been studying and perfecting my craft for my “CalmandStrong: The Connection” speech, and I feel my hard work has paid off. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I want to say thanks to those for taking the time to check out my blog, and my “CalmandStrong: The Connection” speech!

* On this day, May 26th, the original inFAMOUS was released in 2009, and having its eight-year anniversary!


I do not own any image or video content from the inFAMOUS videogame franchise.

No Copyright Intended. All image and video content is copyright to their respective owners. All content is property of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.

I do not own any content from the images displayed from music artist Nas. No Copyright Intended. All images are copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to Nas.

Nas Stillmatic Album Art. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.

Nas’ You’re Da Man song courtesy of Nas – Topic from

Nas You're da Man. By Nasir Jones. Prod. Large Professor. Perf. Nasir Jones (Nas). N.p., 7 Nov. 2014. Web. 25 May 2017.

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