Rebekah Renford

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Archive for the ‘Toastmasters’ Category


The Return of Autumn

Wow! It has felt crazy busy the last few weeks not only with freelance projects and Toastmasters, but with the social side of life too. It’s time to get blogging again though, especially now that sweet, sweet, Autumn has returned.

This upcoming week at Toastmasters we have our Club Table Topics and Humorous Speech Contest. Originally it was so hard to get people to sign up as contestants and I even threw myself in as a contestant hoping to get the ball rolling. So now I am participating in the Table Topics contest and we have over 14 contestants between the two contests. Oh, of course some may drop out as they realize there’s no time to prepare a speech and such, but overall that’s still a good number!

I also need to get going on my regular speech projects again as I’ve only completed three and I’ve told myself I will have my CC and CL status by the end of the executive year. That means I have to do at least seven more speeches to get the CC and a few other projects for the CL as well. Writing a speech isn’t really a big deal for me, not really. It’s more about the topic to choose – what can I write a speech about that will keep others interested?

On the web side of things, I’m doing another set of demos for our hockey pool website, The downside is I’m terribly equipped in the audio department, so my next mission is to excellently equip myself and do those demos again, with better audio. I’d also like to find a way to make them more interesting, cause they’re pretty boring to watch. There’s got to be a way of doing them in a more captivating and fun way.

With the return of Autumn, comes the return of more time indoors – meaning that hopefully more work will get done. Despite the increased time indoors, I really do love Fall. Today I went for a bike ride around Stanley Park and what a lovely Autumn day it was. With that, I leave you with a photo of Siwash Rock along the Stanley Park Seawall.

Posted under Development, Netgenetix, Toastmasters

Freelance and Toast and IE6 – oh my!

It seems as though my blogging has taken a steep dive for amount of posts as of the last month eh? I’ve been working on a couple of freelance projects as well as trying to get the ball rolling for the Toastmasters year ahead. One of my freelance projects for an old acquaintance who is an excellent photographer now, will be up shortly – we’re just putting the finishing touches on it and getting his portfolio optimized for the website. The other freelance project is still very much a work in progress as far as the development goes. The design is finished and looks pretty darn good if you ask me, however I’m a little rusty and not all that experienced at building Wordpress themes so it’s taking me a bit longer than usual to pump it out.

As for Toastmasters, my first month as Club President has been okay however since it is summer we have some difficulties filling all the roles every meeting since many members go on vacation or would probably rather be outside in the nice weather. Once September hits I think the club activity will pick up again, which will be nice – and then I can really start pushing our goal for President’s Distinguished Club.

If you live on the internet as I do most of the time, you may have heard that web developers and designers of all kinds are finally fed up and cannot stay quiet anymore on the subject of Internet Explorer 6. Enough is enough!!! If you agree I suggest you join the campaign by adding an anti-IE6 icon to your online profile pictures in the very least (I’ve used mine on my twitter account). Here is an anti-IE6 image for your convenience in a large size so that you can scale it down to the size needed for your image.

Also, see below my example:

– Rebekah

Posted under Development, Industry, Toastmasters

Our Time

Tonight was the first toastmasters meeting with the new executive in charge, and so I thought it a perfect time to write an inspirational speech on where I see our club going in the next year. Unfortunately I couldn’t memorize it all and had to use a few key point notes to jog my memory here and there and keep myself on track, so I think that took away part of the momentum that may have made my speech even more inspiring than it already was. However it was received very well and a couple of guests that were in attendance even joined the club because of it!

All things considered, I think it went very well and I managed to write it and mostly memorize it in two days. I truly think I inspired the club and that we really are going to achieve what I want us to.

Blog post on how to write an inspiring speech coming soon.

Posted under Toastmasters

Table Topics Adventure

This week’s Toastmaster’s meeting was quite possibly the funnest one I’ve ever been to. This week I was the Table Topics Master and so I wanted to do something different and get people involved and working together as well as make it humorous. And it worked. Everybody had an amazing night and the meeting went so well.

Today’s table topics session is a lesson in how your body language speaks and to help you see how both speaking effectively and using your body effectively works together to make you an even better public speaker.

The exercise included two people per scenario as one person will only be speaking, and the other will only be doing the actions to go with their partner’s speaking. This helped give a more apparent demonstration of how the body speaks and how both speaking and moving have to work together in order to make a speech truly effective. Extreme hilarity ensued with the following scenarios:

  • 1. You are working on street repair and discover an indecipherable item.
  • 2. You are at a local dance and meet a strange, interesting character. What happens?
  • 3. You are wrestling a bear at the state fair. What is the outcome?
  • 4. You are rock climbing in the middle of a hot day and are suddenly swarmed by a large number of birds.
  • 5. You are demonstrating Tupperware (or some other product of your choice) and describing the strange things it is useful for (not just food).

Needless to say it was difficult for some people to not use their body while speaking (using hand gestures, etc.) and for others it was difficult to not speak or make too many noises. At the end of it all my eyes were watering from laughing so hard. Definitely a great exercise that I would do again some time.

- – Rebekah

P.S. Nam (our Past President, a super cool dude) introduced me as the Table Topics Master and used hockey references to Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. NICE. I love it. :-) You can put me up there with great achievers any day!

Posted under Education, Toastmasters

I do solemnly swear…

I do solemnly swear that I will truly and faithfully, and to the best of my skill and knowledge, execute the powers and trusts reposed in me as BURRARD TOASTMASTERS CLUB PRESIDENT!!!!

That’s right. Club elections took place, and I will be the new Club President for Burrard Toastmasters. Because that’s just how I roll, and because I’m freakin’ awesome. I actually don’t officially become Club President until July as we go through a transitional period and a training session. The point is I’m progressing in my usual pace again, yay! That’s all I have to say about Toastmasters today.

This week’s handy links:


Posted under Education, Industry, Toastmasters

Running for President

This week Jess let me chair the meeting again at Toastmasters. It’s good practice for sure and I’ve made up my mind that I’m definitely running for president in the club executive elections on May 27th. On my way to Toastmasters I even thought of a good argument for why they should vote for me. I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you (or bring down your website). I’m saving it for the actual election speech. I’m actually really excited about it and I feel myself opening up more and becoming a lot more comfortable with Toastmasters, speaking, and being myself around strangers in general.

I finished the flash book Leigh had ordered for me, and the satisfying part of it is that I knew about 98% of what it taught. My first project is going to be a Netgenetix social photo gallery which Leigh wants me to treat as a real project with a project brief, a timeline, and deliverables. That should be interesting in terms of the timeline/deliverables, only because I’ll be working on it in my free time, not on a daily basis like a client project. Who knows what client work may fill up my time in the coming weeks?

I’ve come across some awesome design/development articles and pages in the past week that I’d like to share. Take a gander, I’m sure you’ll find at least one of them useful or inspiring!

… and you can see more of my cool website discoveries by following me on Delicious.

Posted under Design, Development, Education, Netgenetix, Toastmasters