John Dennison's Icebreaker Speach to Toastmasters

It's been a while since I was on the platform as a public speaker. In case you didn't know, I got sick and spent several months in the hospital with a long rehab afterwards. It's still going on.

I thought it best to get back on the horse and ride, and what better way than with Toastmasters? So I joined a local club a couple weeks ago and it's been fun -- though way too early in the morning (7:00 a.m.) for my taste.

The first speech members have to give is called an Icebreaker, telling them something about you. After much thought, I named it after Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi." In it I talk about appreciating your life, especially the things we all take for granted.

It's my story. From trying to change the world, to losing the ability to speak and be heard, it's the first time I talk about my ordeal. It was quite emotional, not that I had intended it to be.

It was good to start talking about it. Maybe one day I'll even be comfortable enough to work it into my speeches, and share some of the tools I used to get back and the lessons I learned from it all.

They taped it, and here it is. I hope you'll give a listen.