by Mike Rozen
At Toastmasters, we work through different speaking manuals, each designed to help us develop a different skill set. This is Mike’s speech from the Special Occasions Manual. His objective was to affectionately skewer the outgoing club president at Richmond Toastmasters’ end of year awards banquet. His delivery cracked up the room. Here’s what he said:
Welcome everyone to the 2010 annual Richmond Toastmasters awards dinner. This night is all about praise and recognition, and now I get to praise our President Richard Belleza. Hey my little dictator, I have a present for you. I`m going to praise you so much you are going to melt. This is great since not only do I know Richard from Toastmasters, but we are also friends. So I know a different side of him. But we are not going to go there, even though we had some nice times.
Belleza is a Spanish name, meaning beautiful. Well, back in high school his nickname was Chewbacca because he looked like the character from Star Wars. They also called him Primate because when they were in science class they said he looked like the pictures of humans 10 million years ago. But, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
In high school, he thought he was smooth with the ladies, so his online chat nickname was Don Juan. This was a bit of an exaggeration. He was actually very shy with girls, so he would only talk to them through online chats. His friends joked that his grad date would not be a girl, but a computer. Finally, Richard gets lucky and meets the girl of his dreams, and after being together for 5 years he still hasn’t proposed to her! What are you waiting for? A better looking computer?
Richard was born in Canada, however his family is Filipino, and very frugal. When Richard was growing up, his dad would get him and his brother to bury old appliances in the yard instead of paying to take them to a dump. Recently our manuals went missing and I’m wondering which hole they ended up in. Rich’s parents are so frugal that rather than pay for a trip to the Philippines to visit his aunts and uncles, Rich’s dad would tell him that all his relatives lived in Vancouver working as nurses at the local hospital. Richard obviously took these values from his parents. For instance, in not one executive meeting did Richard feed us, not even a chip. Richard is so tight with money, that when he walks, his butt squeaks.
Rich is one of the few men who is happy now that his hair is falling out….because now he can save money by not going to the barber!
Richard is a smart guy. He has a degree from Royal Roads University in Business Management. To pay for his education he sold all the appliances that were buried in his backyard.
Richard works for Sun Life and sells life insurance. So, he doesn’t like to spend money, but has no trouble telling other people to spend money. He also has no trouble spending the club’s money—prizes, manuals, conferences, tonight’s dinner.
On another note, Richard has been a great president of our club since he has very strong communication skills. He uses these skills to send hundreds of emails to us daily ordering us to do things: “What should we give this member as a prize? Find out how much the club banner costs. Contact this speaker to come speak at our club. Etc.”
He is also very skilled in Table Topics. This is because when Rich was a trouble-making little kid, he always found a way to make up a believable story to tell his parents. He even tells me this advice when I ask him how to improve my table topics. Just pretend that you broke something and you have to make up a great excuse to your parents. As a president, he also strongly believes in recognition for members who work hard. Hey Richard, where is my recognition for eating the most prime rib tonight?
Richard, we know you are a good guy, and you have been a loyal friend of mine. You have been a strong president and have kept us motivated all year by being a strong communicator and very organized. You are also creative, coming up with many ideas about member recognition, club dues, club promotion, etc.
This year was our most successful ever for Richmond Toastmasters. We achieved 10 of out 10 goals for DCP, brought in 26 new members, qualified for 3 membership contests, and had 2 members go to the district contest, Carl and Reg. Thank you Richard for all your great work in mentoring our club. I know we will be as successful in this upcoming year as we have been this past year, thanks to you.
A toast to Richard!
VP Education, Richmond Toastmasters, 2010-2011