Last weekend, while most of you were sleeping, I was competing in my very first Toastmasters speech contest. I joined Seattle Sunrise Toastmasters in June because I’ve always loved to be in front of an audience. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had an opportunity to take the stage, and I wanted to get those “speaker” muscles back in shape. I have so many things to share, and I would love to connect with more people through speaking about photography. Saturday morning at 7:30 marked my first ever Toastmasters contest. I’ve never seen one, let alone competed in one. When the contest chair was looking for contestants, I asked what would be involved if I were to step up. As it turns out, an expression of interest is enough to get you on the contestant list. I rolled with it, and prepared a speech about lessons I’ve learned in parenthood. It was a fun speech to give, and apparently the judges thought it was a fun speech to watch, because I won first place! So, as of August 26, 2017, I am an award-winning speaker. I’ve advanced to the area competition, which will happen on September 9th. I’m excited for the opportunity to come together with other club contest winners and see what they all have to share. I am available to speak for local groups about personal branding and boosting your confidence through portraits. If you have a need for a speaker at a Seattle area event, please feel free to contact me.