On March 2nd, I did my fourth speech for Toastmasters. I decided to speak about my favorite artist and the song that helped me during my darkest days as a teenager. My speech was about Nas’ Stillmatic (The Intro) song.
I picked this song because to me it is the ultimate redemption song. Nas felt like his back was against the wall because he had to show and prove, and remind people that he is still one of the best to ever pick up a microphone in Hip-Hop.
When I was sick in the hospital at 14 years old, Nas’ Stillmatic (The Intro) came out. I also felt like my back was against the wall because I determined to not be defeated by cancer. In the beginning of my speech, I stumbled over my words a little bit. I paused and took a deep breath then continued and performed well. I didn’t use any notes, and remembered everything I wanted to say, which was good (on my second speech, I didn’t use notes and completely forgot my conclusion).
I was nervous of course, but I felt a since of calmness while I was speaking. Before I went to the meeting, I worked out by riding my stationary bike and I think it helped me become calm and not over think what I wanted to accomplish. From now on, I’m going to work out before my speeches since it helps me.
The purpose of my speech was to share the way Nas expressed himself artistically through his music and how he helped me during a dark period in my life. I concluded my speech by saying, “Nas will never know how much he helped me during my darkest days as a teenager. I appreciate that he was able to express himself artistically through his music, and share the struggles of his mother’s breast cancer ordeal.”
When I finished my speech, the Staff Sponsor of the Toastmasters club came up to me and said I was a man on a mission. I was happy that she noticed how serious this is for me because it’s getting me prepared to be an excellent inspirational speaker. I feel like I’m slowly getting better with every speech and learning from my prior mistakes. I’m really focused on making progress and moving forward, rather than getting worse and moving backwards.
I’ve already done four speeches with Toastmasters, but I feel like it’s time for me to pursue another goal of mine. I want to go to my high school (Silverado High School) and speak to the students. I feel when I speak and show my PowerPoint, it will be hard-hitting because the pictures will back-up what I’m talking about.
For example, in the middle of my PowerPoint. I talk about how I returned back to high school after I defeated cancer and how I made the junior varsity basketball team. I also have a picture of myself in my Silverado basketball uniform. While I’m telling my story, the students will see the pictures I have which will make my presentation feel more authentic.
* I volunteered at Loma Linda Hospital this week on Feb. 29th and March 5th. When I volunteered on Feb. 29th, I had more video games to donate, but they weren’t from me. When I told people I was going to donate video games for the hospital, and some friends insisted on helping. The children’s hospital definitely has a lot of video games to choose from now, which is great.
* On Feb. 29th, I came across the teacher for the children’s hospital and she heard about the video games I donated a few weeks ago. She said it was good that I donated something that the teens would want because I was once in their shoes years ago.
* On March 5th, while I was volunteering, I came across one of the nurses that took care of me while I was sick in the hospital at 14 and 17 years old. She thanked me for being consistent with my volunteering and helping out.