My Very First Public Speech

Given at a Toastmasters club meeting


Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

I gave my first speech at a Toastmasters meeting, and it was exhilarating. After it was over. It’s easier and as hard as you think it might be, because few things in life are simple. I wrote about why I joined and why you might want to join, and I’m following up with the actual speech.

The first speech you give in a Toastmasters meeting is called the Ice Breaker, and it should be something about yourself. There are a lot of routes you can take with this topic. I went with brutal honesty. I never want anyone to feel sorry for me, but I do want everyone to know that you can overcome anything. Anything.

I’ll be writing more about Toastmasters in the coming weeks. This is just the beginning of my journey. I hope you’ll join me.

Ice Breaker Speech

The most important thing to know about me is that I’m a geek. And I’m a nerd. What’s the difference, you may wonder. A geek is someone who’s very, very enthusiastic about something. A nerd is a geek who dives really deep into a subject that may be perfectly acceptable in shallow waters, but the deeper you dive, the stranger you are.

My nerdy subject is science fiction. Mostly books, but also films and television, and a few comics. When I say I’m a nerd, I mean that I can make your eyes glaze over talking about the effects of WWII and the Cold War on the Golden Age of science fiction. Luckily for you, that’s not what I’m going to talk about today.

You do need to know that I’m a Trekkie. I’ve been a Trekkie since September 8, 1966 when I plopped my tiny two-year-old self in front of the TV, and watched the debut of the original Star Trek show. And then I did that every week.

Why? Why was I so interested? I couldn’t possibly understand much of what was going on at that age, but I think it was the fantasy aspect. Weird aliens, bright colors, pretty lights, and grownups who didn’t behave like any grownups I knew. It was the birth of a nerd.

It was also the beginning of my reliance on escapism to retreat from an unhappy childhood. I lived in a world of fantasy, fiction, and dreams that were so much better than some of the sad and terrible things that populated my real…



Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer. Maker. Featured in Medium’s 2021 list of Stories That Started Conversations. I write about life.