Showing What We’ve Got

By the Editorial Staff

On May 18, members of Washington University’s staff got a taste of Toastmasters at  Staff Day’s inaugural Talk Soon Speech Showcase. Organized by Troy DeArmitt and Shirley Ikemeier, the showcase included the six best speeches of the year as determined by Toast of WU and WUSTL Speaks club members. (With the caveat that neither Troy nor Shirley could compete.)

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The Staff Day Speech Showcase. From left: Shirley Ikemeier, Troy DeArmitt, Rosalind Early (winner), Mary Clemens, John Richardson, Mark Bagby, Karen Leingang, and Kim Freels

“The day was simply a marvel,” Troy wrote in an email after the showcase. “The event exceeded my expectations in every possible dimension.”

There were four speakers from WUSTL Speaks and two from Toast of WU. John Richards spoke about his love of cats in “Why You Should Be Adopted by a Cat.” Karen Leingang talked about the struggles of teaching her daughter to drive, while Kim Freels delivered her icebreaker speech, “Diving in, Feet First.” Mark Bagby’s speech, “117-Acre Wood,” described his summers helping his family run a summer camp. Mary Clemens delivered her poignant speech, “Before You Say I Love Him.” (See next page for more about that speech.)

Rosalind Early won with her speech, “The Life of the Desperate Single,” about online dating. She received $100 and a handmade trophy that she’ll hand off to the winner at the next showcase.

The event’s main purpose was showing what Toastmasters is all about. “The talks, placed side by side as they were, just blew me (and the room, given feedback I’ve been getting) away,” Troy wrote. “To me, for me, it felt like a celebration of the work and achievements our clubs have claimed collectively over this past year.”