“Picture This” At the Toastmasters International Speech Contest

(L to R) Emmy Jones, District 15 Governor, Deborah Whitman, Contest Toastmaster, Stacy Dymalski, winner District 15 International Speech Contest
(photo by Gary Dufault)

Just this weekend I received my official Toastmasters pictures for winning the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the District level on May 12th. As promised, I’m sharing one with you all now. (To jog your memory from a previous post, I’ve advanced to the semi-finals, where I’ll go on to compete worldwide at the International Speech Contest in Orlando, Florida, August 15-18.)

Also as promised, I’m sharing a video of my award-winning speech, which is entitled Wynton Marsalis Had My Back. It’s about the first and only time my older son, Derrick, met his idol, legendary jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis.

If you aren’t into jazz you may not know who Wynton Marsalis is, so let me enlighten you. Winner of nine Grammy Awards and the first jazz musician to win the Pulizter Prize for music, Wynton Marsalis is the greatest living jazz trumpet player and consistently ranked one of the top 10 jazz trumpet players of all time. He also leads the Lincoln Center Jazz Band, so when he came to Salt Lake City to play a concert at Kingsbury Hall, our good friend Mark Eaton got us backstage after the concert. (Turns out Mark and Wynton are good friends, which is a whole other story). During the course of our brief conversation Mr. Marsalis invited Mark, Derrick, and I to join him at a post-concert reception (which was pretty surreal in and of itself).

Wynton Marsalis

At the reception Derrick decided to ask Mr. Marsalis his advice about an educational/parenting issue on which Derrick and I had argued. We agreed that our difference of opinion would be decided by whatever Mr. Marsalis said. You can tell by the title of my speech the direction in which things swung. But the path to get there is what give this speech its heart.

The video below was taken at the Division contest in Salt Lake City at the Shriner’s Hospital on April 21, 2012, which I had to win before advancing to the District contest (which was my most recent win). They didn’t allow videotaping at the District level competition, so this is not the performance that advanced me to the world semi-finals, but it is the same speech, so at least you can see it.



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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.

For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.