If you had only 5 words to capture the most important thing to remember, what would you say?
This exact question was posed in fine style and good humour at a recent Toastmasters chapter competition. The winner was judged by peers and will go to the next round and compete at the district level for glory, laude and honour. Seven toastmasters stepped out of the room so as not to be pre-influenced by hearing their colleagues. Each in turn were posed a topic and had exactly under 2 minutes to speak on their feet. The question was, “If you could only write 5 words and no more on a button that you would wear what would be your 5 words and why?” Start the timer when the first word is uttered.
The responses were witty and heartfelt and gave a window to the values held by each speaker.
One was a lawyer who suggested, “Don’t worry, be more happy!”
The next speaker rebutted philosophically whether one can actually reduce life and dreams to merely 5 words
A fellow spoke of his life and his parents journey from the Philipines and claimed, “I am Canadian, sort of.” for his life button.
Another recovering worry wart explained why her button would read, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
The next contestant took some moral high ground as an environmentalist teaching us about Saudi oil reserve depletion and all then called in his 5 words, “let us conserve energy now!”
The fellow who quipped, “Don’t give up the fight,” proceeded to share passionately how his disability has never held him back from seeing the world as a beautiful and abundant place.
The last speaker to share was a tall lanky lad who proudly announced that his button would feature, in green lettering, “Kiss me I am Irish.” He then confessed that he is in fact of Scottish heritage but he figured he had a much better chance of meeting interesting people and at least get to know some Irish folks and a free beer with those 5 words on a button.
So where did your imagination go as you read about these witty toastmasters? What 5 word phase captures who you are and what you believe in?