Category Archives: Speech Stories

Pearls Before Swine humor – 5/7/2012

We all enjoy a little humor…My husband clipped this Pearls Before Swine cartoon for me and I had to share it:

Pearl Before Swine May 7, 2012
Toastmasters International

At a meeting two weeks ago, Summit Toastmasters had a returning member (John Welsh) who remembered a speech I did on this premise called “The Real Toastmaster.”  What was amazing…I did that speech two years ago.

(Let me say that there is nothing like making fresh toast at a meeting, serving it with Nutella, and we are Toastmasters…so giving a Toast to end the speech!)

Just goes to show you the power of HUMOR!


Remember and Repeat Workshop

As attended and edited by Pat Moore

Summit Toastmasters Vice President of Membership

Toastmasters District 26 Leadership Training Institute, Colorado Springs, August 6, 2011. Part 1 of Elaine Love’s workshop on “Remember and Repeat: 5 keys to Crafting a Message Your Audience will Remember and Repeat.”

Part 2 of Elaine Love’s workshop on “Remember and Repeat: 5 keys to Crafting a Message Your Audience will Remember and Repeat.”

The Builder

inspired by Albert Mensah as revised by Yvonne Bryant

In Summit County, there is a homebuilder who does all of the luxury homes in the area.  If you were building a 3000 square foot home with all of the bells and whistles, Alan was your man.  His best superintendent, Pat, had been with him for 30 years carefully building each home from the ground up.

One day Pat goes to Alan and says:

Pat: Alan, I’m ready to retire.

Alan: Pat, you can’t retire.  I have one more home that needs to be built.

Pat: No, I’m ready to retire now.

Alan: Pat, you’re our best.  I need you to do this one last home.  Do the foundation, and I’ll let you retire.

So Pat agrees to do the foundation for this last home.  While she is building the foundation though, she decides that she will show Alan.  She will build the foundation and the rest of the house as quickly as possible.

So Pat finishes the home ahead of schedule and under budget.  She then went to Alan and says:

Pat: Hey Boss, I’m finished!  Can I retire now.

Alan: Just a moment, lets do a walk through and then you can retire.  I need you to tell me where you got everything in case the new owner has any changes or warranty items.

Both Alan and Pat go to the home.  From the outside, everything looks perfect, just like a million dollar home.  Pat is getting worried as they come to the front door though because she had cut some corners on the inside using inexpensive fixtures and cheep construction techniques.

As Alan reaches the front door, he reaches to open the door and finds that it is locked.  He turns to Pat and asks for the key to the house.  When Pat reaches to hand Alan the key, he states:

Pat, you have been a valued employee these past 30 years.  Keep the key, we had this home built for you in appreciation for all of your hard work.


Always do your best because you never know who’s house you are building.

Stories in our Speeches

In Toastmasters, we learn the importance of using stories in our speeches. Stories allow us to connect with our audience to pass on shared visions, to demonstrate shared values, or even to engender working together.  In The Leadership Challenge, 4th edition by Kouzes and Posner, Steve Denning of World Bank notes:

Nothing else worked.  Charts left listeners bemused.  Prose remained unread.  Dialogue was just too laborious and slow.  Time after time, when faced with the task of persuading a group of managers or frontline staff in a large organization to get enthusiastic about a major change, I found that storytelling was the only thing that work. – Pg. 90

Now some of you may be thinking, “Yvonne, my stories aren’t that interesting” or “Yvonne, I don’t have any stories.”

What I have learned is that we all have stories, we just may not have learned how to present or recognize them.  Together, we can work on this skill so please share your stories.


  1. The Builder inspired by Albert Mensah as revised by Yvonne Bryant