My ice breaker speech a.k.a How I met My Wife

This is my Project One "ice breaker"Toastmaster speech delivered on 20th July 2010...

The video is here and the transcript could be found below.

" [phone rings twice, answer call]
Hello. Good Evening. Emmanuel here.
[listen to caller...]
Sorry. I think you have dialled a wrong number.
[listen to caller...]
Okay. Goodbye.
[end call]

Sorry about that folks. Don't you just hate it when people call you by mistake especially when you are half-asleep or when you are just about to give your first toastmaster speech? Actually, I have a different take on it and I will tell you how dialling a wrong number changed my entire life.

Toastmaster Of the Day, My dear fellow Toastmasters and my dear guests,

It was the 30th of October 2003. I got out my mobile and dialled a friend who was organizing a Halloween Party the next day. We started talking and a few minutes into the conversation both of us realized that I was not talking to the correct person. I was supposed to be calling a friend by the name of “Susan #####”, but I'd ended up dialling “Suzan Gerreyn”. Mistaken identity for this particular call, but this was the girl I've had a crush on since Grade 11. I remember wanting to give her Roses at that time, but never found the nerve to do it. In hindsight, I guess it was all for the best.

Anyhow, a thousand calls and an year later, Miss Gerreyn finally agreed to go out on a date with me. They say matches are made in Heaven, and I do totally agree. Suzan, who is now my wife, has a photograph of herself in Grade 4, with me in the background. Mind you, we didn't know each other at that time. But we did meet each other in Grade 9, when we went for Maths tuition together. My wife does have a very quick tongue and none of the guys were brave enough to talk to her. The very first time I spoke to her, she was so quick that I didn't understand a word she said.

Time went by, I became the Head Boy of my school, she the band leader of her school. We met quite often on official duty since our schools were separated by a common wall. Once our schooling days were over, she moved away to another city and we lost touch. As fate would have it, a few years later we met at a school fair and I got her phone number. Then I dialled it my mistake and now we are married and blessed with a mischievous 3 year old son who's quick with his tongue as his mother is.

I sometimes wonder what my little boy will become in the future and remember my own ambitions as a teenager.

I can clearly remember writing an essay in Grade 9 titled "My Future Ambition". I'm happy to say that I'm living that dream. My mother wasn't too thrilled about me becoming a Software Engineer, but then everybody else convinced her otherwise and later on she even footed the bill for my higher studies. I started working right out of school thanks to my elder sister who got me a job at JKCS, a company which many of you here know of. I moved on to Excel Technology where I had my first exposure to public facing websites and here I'm working as the technical lead for [the flagship website of a leading airline].

Work is good, Life is great, and there are two mantras which I try to live by. The first one I saw at my Opticians since I was a little boy and it said "Do a job you Love and You'll not work a day in your life". The saying is attributed to the Chinese Philosopher Confucius and I'm glad to say I've still not worked a day in my life and never hope to as well. The second mantra which my former Boss [@ Ridgecrest Financial] used to quote "Life is a Marathon, not a sprint".

As people in the software industry it's something we forget quite often. Each work project is a sprint for us and we forget about the Marathon. Our families, Our friends, our personal lives.

My Dad lived the Mantra "Life is a Marathon, not a sprint". Many of you gathered here are fathers, and I would like to share the following with you.

It’s been a year and day
I miss him more than ever
Because he’s been a father
A man could be proud of

When driving along the speedways
I’d wonder what he would say
Cos he sat next to me
Taught me to drive through fever and pain

He gave me a home, food and education
Seemed to be a father’s due
But now that I’m a Dad and I've seen the world
He’s a Hero in my eyes

Life is a cycle. It’s all about Living, Loving and Dying.
My friends, I have given you a tiny glimpse of my life and I hope you have enjoyed it.
Thank you.
Over to you, Toastmaster of the day. "

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