Category: Toastmaster Speeches

The less fortunate

What does it mean to be Less Fortunate?
To be less fortunate means living below an acceptable living standard when resources are insufficient to meet basic needs such as Food, Shelter and clothing on a daily basis.


Why are some of us Less Fortunate?
Being less fortunate exists because of the disparity that is present among people in a community due to the:

  1.  Lack of the desire to learn
  2.  Lack of opportunity
  3.  Emergency circumstances

Where are the less fortunate?
They are everywhere.  In cities, towns wherever there are group of people in all races, there are the less fortunate.

Who is affected by less fortunate circumstances?
Individuals such as single men, women and families such as single parents especially children.  Why children? They are the recipient of their parent(s) economical status.

What can you do?

  • If you know anyone that is  less fortunate, get to know them and find out what is their story.
  • If you can, having heard their story what can you do to assist them out of their situation?
  • Volunteer at any of the various agencies
  • Donate something

What is your perception of the less fortunate?

One Solitary Life

A Reading Version of One Solitary Life
(the original version by Dr. James Allan Francis)

Let us turn now to the story.
A child is born in an obscure village. He grew up in still another village where he worked in a carpenters shop until he was thirty. For three years he was an itinerant preacher;
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never raises an army
He never has a family of his own
He never owns a home
He never goes to college
He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born

While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against him
He was turned over to his enemies
He goes through the mockery of a trial
He is nailed to a cross between two thieves
His executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he owned
When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave

Those are the facts of this human life. He rises from the dead and today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask what was his influence across the centuries?
When we try to sum it up;
All the armies that ever marched
All the parliaments that ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned

Can not compare in their influence on mankind as this One Solitary Life.

How to Say It

Regardless of what flavor you prefer, there is something satisfying to the taste bud with the crunch and taste of lay’s potato chips.  Some people will do anything to get that satisfaction, even at the expense of another’s time and their self – esteem.

This commercial was taped in an Esthetician’s salon where Grace the Esthetician   was busy talking to Diane her customer about a personal matter while applying the first coat of the red colored nail polish.  Diane was listening intently to what Grace was saying with both her hands stretched in front of her when suddenly she heard a sound from the right side of her – C-R-U-N-C-H.

It was Lucy the receptionist, she was on break sitting comfortably in the lounge and had just eaten a regular flavored chip from the bag of Lay’s potato chips she was holding in her hand.  Diane turned in the direction of the sound and with a yearning look, swept her tongue across her bottom lips in a right to left motion. She took a deep breath as if she could taste the potato chips while listening to Grace.

Just as Grace stood up for a moment and walked away to get something she needed from behind her, the phone rang.   Lucy dropped the bag of chips, wiped her hands and hurriedly walked to the front desk to answer the phone.

In a split second Diane with her wet nails quietly dashed into the lounging area, reached inside the bag of chips, grab a few, very quickly threw them in her mouth, and walked back to her seat, placed her hands back where they were, with a puckered mouth and eyes roaming the room.

Just then, Grace looked down in wide-eyed horror and starred at Diane’s hands stained with little crumbs of lay’s potato chips.  Loss for words, she very slowly lifts up her head to look at Diane with her puckered mouth and roaming eyes, and down again at her hands.

Both ladies still loss for words, starred at each other as Diane made the sound –C-R-U-N-C-H from her mouth, closes her eyes in satisfaction of the harmony of the sound and flavor with a groaning and smile.

O! What some people will do at the expense of another’s time and self – esteem.

All names are fictitious.


O! The Joy of Maintenance

I have had various maintenance projects in my lifetime. From washing down external walls to landscaping my backyard to the most recent one “my deck”

As a Nigerian Canadian, the word maintenance is foreign to some of us regarding the houses we live in.

My first experience of maintenance was the fall of 1984, most of the ladies at church were talking about fall cleaning and I quickly understood it to be the period of recycling clothes, shoes including washing down the inside walls, kitchen cupboards and the list goes on.

I was fascinated by this and thinking to myself; what is this culture all about? Why do they do these things? Is it that they can’t afford to replace these items? They must be really poor.

As time went on, we located to a big city to continue with our work in the mission field.  While here the Lord blessed us with a house that has an external garage building.  The wooden garage door always bordered me because it looked old and by my standard need replacing.

I started making enquiries regarding how we can replace it. In that process I talked to a colleague at work that is an expert on woodwork and she informed me about why the garage door looked that way.  She said what I see are build up of weather conditions and dust. She proceeded to tell me all I needed to do is pressure wash it. I was startled and now very curious; what is pressure wash I asked?

She gave me a detailed instruction on where I can rent the tools I need and how to use it. I could not wait for the perfect Saturday morning to get to work.  The result was outstanding.

Years later we moved to another city and our home had a beautiful backyard and a deck. Over time, I noticed the same look I saw on my former garage on the deck, except this time I knew what to do.  So, I made a few enquiries with neighbors regarding pressure washing it and the vote was unanimous. I went to work and was amazed at the beautiful woodwork underneath the grime that weather conditions have created.  Above is a before and after photo of a portion of my deck before applying the proper stain to protect it and gives it a new look.

O! The Joy of Maintenance.


Who’s Paying for Coffee?

Whenever you invite someone to join you for coffee, do you communicate who’s paying?

There are 3 facts I will like us to consider today:

1) Not everybody has a budget for coffee
2) Money is Money
3) People like to feel special

Not everybody has a budget for coffee.  Communicating who’s paying for coffee will eliminate the embarrassing feeling of lack and enable your friend to relax and enjoy your company. In the Nigerian culture when I invite you out for a meal outside my home, it is on me.  So you will understand the culture shock I experienced when invited out for coffee within weeks of my arrival to St Pierre-Jolly’s located south of Winnipeg.

A group of ladies were going for coffee and I was invited.  Glad to get out into the community, I accepted.  We all sat down placed our orders and at the end I noticed the ladies lining up at the check out register.  At this, I realized I have to pay for my coffee and snack.

I was embarrassed because my husband is a student, I don’t have a job and no money. Not even for coffee.  After a brief pause and O God! O God! O God! I pulled myself together and asked one of the ladies if she will be kind to pay for my bill and I will reimburse her at a later date.  She was happy to do it.

Money is money. Think of this for a second.  Communicating who’s paying will make your friends appreciate you more and maybe actually look forward to spending time with you. For example; A local foundation benefiting from the discontinuation of pennies estimated hundreds of dollars which they hope to use in their food program that teaches young people how to shop and cook in the kitchen especially immigrant youth.  Another non-profit organization will exchange the pennies to buy toothpaste, toothbrushes and other necessities for people in transit.  Be it in pennies or bills money is money. See diagram below.

We as individuals/people generally like to feel special.  Communicating who’s paying for coffee could gain you a life – time friendship.  I do not have tons of friends but with the ones I do have, we take turn paying for our meals whenever we choose to go out for one.

In conclusion; having lived in this great country of ours call Canada, for at least 25 years now; the prices of coffees/cup before you are from 2010 and I am sure it has increased since then.  Who’s paying for coffee? When next you extend an invitation to someone to join you?  Communicate it.



Money is money.

In conclusion; having lived in this great country of ours call Canada, for at least 25 years now; the prices of coffees/cup before you are from 2010 and I am sure it has increased since then.  Who’s paying for coffee? When next you extend an invitation to someone to join you?  Communicate it.




Living life in phases as it presents itself is rewarding and enjoyable though sometimes challenging.

My name is Choice Idonije. I am a Nigerian Canadian since 1990.  I was born in a small town called Sapele in the Delta State of Nigeria, West Africa in the 50s where I had all my education.  After school I worked as a Quantity Surveyor with an oil company called the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.  Quantity Surveyors are known as Building Estimators here in Canada.

I am married with 4 adult children and 3 beautiful grand children.  My husband, 3 of our children and I came to Canada as missionaries and settled initially in St Pierre Jollies where my husband travelled to Otterburne to attend Otterburne Bible College to study divinity and theology.  I travelled to the Red River Community College to study Building Construction.  I later switched into the Accounting profession for lack of work in the building construction industry within small communities.

We relocated to Rock Lake where we worked as the resident Pastors at the Family Enrichment Camp for 2 years.

After we were made aware of an opportunity to work and help people in the City of Brandon, we moved there from Rock Lake. Once there my husband, with the help of the community pioneered an outreach to the less fortunate, addressing homelessness, poverty, and other issues for the next 25 years.

A year ago, my husband and I retired and moved here (the city of Winnipeg) to be close to our daughter, her family and the airport.

I enjoy travelling, good food, music, sight seeing and reading biographies. In 2011 for example, I travelled for 9 of the 12 months.  This year however I have scaled back my travelling because I want to enjoy more time at home with my family, neighbors, church and of course my fellow toastmasters.

Now that I’m retired, my goal is to develop the ability to confidently address an audience and give presentations in a clear and concise manner for this next phase of my life.

Living life in phases as it presents itself is rewarding and enjoyable though sometimes challenging.