My first ever Toastmasters Speech ‘Ice breaker speech’ June 2015

The time given for this speech was 4-6 minutes:

My Time on the very first read was 4.38.34 and after practising, my time on the presentation night was 5 min 15 seconds. My feed back was very positive although I did start with an um before I started my speech! My hair was over my eye which my evaluator felt was distracting and my hands were clenched together at the start before I used gestures. All and all I was pretty stoked, the nervous adrenalin was amazing and the nice comments from fellow toastmasters felt very heart warming.

Below is my Ice breaker speech is supposed to be about yourself.

My ice breaker speech, a little about me, but more about my name…….

What is in a name?

I have always believed there’s a lot in a name, it determines who you are, how people perceive you, it defines who you are as I’m about to share with you, or does it?

My name is Chanelle now, but it has been Nicola, Christine, Chanel spelt C-H-A-N-E-L and now Chanelle with an extra L and E on the end.

I was born in a hospital in Epsom Auckland for unwed mothers. My birth mother named me Nicola, the nuns changed it a few days later to Christine (so they knew which girl I belonged to, yes! Christine is my birth mothers name. And my first birth certificate states Christine Nicola, not Nicola as my birth mother desired.

I was picked up by an amazing family of 5 from Taranaki who choose the name, as the story goes, on the long car trip up to Auckland and called me Chanel…… spelt as I said earlier C-H-A-N-E-L, this wasn’t my last name change..

Now I was named Chanel after my Aunty back in 1973, she was 45 at the time, my grandmother wasn’t a  fashionista but must of loved the name for other reasons because Chanel back in 1928 was not a very known name, nor in 1973 in NZ. It was more Mary, Dorothy or Margaret in 1928! or in 1973, Michelle, Lisa or Julie!  I still get called Shantel and Michelle constantly! I will remind you my name is Chanelle.

By the time I was ready to learn to spell my name before I went to school my adopted mother decided to listen to a nun,,,, with her wisdom had suggested adding L-E  on the end to make it more feminine because Chanel reminded her of St Peter Chanel a man.  He was gentle, kind and encouraging not unlike my namesake Aunty Chanel actually, he was also the patron Saint of Oceania…..but he was a man!

Is it coincidence that nuns have had such part in my names?

What is in a name?

So I did what we all do now days! I googled it!

Google tells me it’s actually a French surname which meant pipe.

It has been used as a American given name since the 1970s, influenced by the Chanel brand (a line of woman’s clothing and perfume), which was named by French Fashion designer Coco Chanel ( born 1883) .

Are any of you familiar with William Shakespeare?

His famous words

“a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Implies that the name of things, does not affect what they really are.

I disagree!

Is it coincidence that I love fashion? And married a fitter welder of Pipe!

I grew up confused!   I had many name changes!  😉 but also had a great family and lots of worldly experiences.

A colourful child hood and adolescence, perhaps in part because of my confusing name changes.

I was asked to leave school at 15 managed to hang in till I was 16, leaving unqualified but looking forward to the big wide world.

I left my little town for the big city and started my career as a hairdresser, first training in Palmerston North then getting an apprenticeship in New Plymouth. By the time I was 20 I was fully qualified, married to my Pipe man the fitter welder and managing a hair salon before we decided to go farming and have our 1st child at 22.

A big decision deciding to ditch the 8-5 townie day to (and I still agree) very ghastly early starts!

2 more babies later, a few shifts including the biggest one, to leave our family and friends and travel South (gypsy day known  by you Southlanders) .

A farm bought and a farm sold we made our family life down here. We’ve travelled the Pacific and the world in between.

I am now a fashion retailer of an awesome independent store right here in Gore and still manage to put my gumboots on too!

Is it coincidence that St Peter Chanel travelled the seven seas and became Patron St of Oceania (the Pacific)? I might not be saintly but I do absolutely

Love the pacific, my favourite place is Tahiti! Moorea to be exact!

What’s in a name? A lot I say, do all my name changes go with all my interests, careers and changes?  Or is it just coincidence? I ask you?

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Time 4.38.34 on the first read after practicing, my time on the presentation night was 5min 15 seconds. The time given was 4-6 minute speech.

Anxious and excited all at once!

I’m getting ready……will I ever be ready? 1 more sleep! Unbelievable! Its surreal when you’ve been planning and looking forward to something so long…… and it’s only 1 more sleep!

Tomorrow I leave the kids to fend for themselves  for 3 days before I meet them in LA after they leave from Dunedin on Thursday. I will have had 3 nights in Vegas by then.

I’ve had several lists all a mile long (no exaggeration, oh well maybe a little) it’s at this point when I actually realise how much I usually fit into 20 days! These lists have made all my excitement at times turn to anxious feelings and my head spin on my shoulders. I’ve got to the point where I can’t do anymore……except for a curve ball thrown in at me on late Friday arvo, didn’t impress me but oh well…..I can sort tomorrow between Dunedin, Chch and Auckland I’m sure.

Tonight I’m amazingly relaxed….

Not so the rest of the week! I’ve had sleepless nights…..it’s been forever I’ve wanted to get to Jamaica, Although the rest of the trip will be amazing…Jamaica is for my soul.

I’ve tried to lose weight, so I look ok next to my GFs ,the beach babe in particular, to no avail haha..Something to do with my social life and lack of enthusiasm for exercise I think 😉

However a couple of new swimwear outfits later….and nothing a few glasses of champagne won’t fix. I’m gunna be 40 soon who gives a folk hahahaha Forty and fabulous on the inside anyway! 😉

I had an email 2 days ago, I’d been waiting for it for days. Air NZ has a one up offer, for an opportunity to use your airpoints for an up- grade. I decided to try it out….

They let you know 7-3 days out from your flight. I’d been checking that email every morning first thing. I got this email through mid morning, I screamed with excitement and I hadn’t even opened it!

Andy my colleague wondered What the flip!?

I sat there not wanting to open it incase my offer hadn’t been accepted, my emotions were fizzing (really who gets this excited about stuff like this? OTT though I’m quite an excitable kind a girl) , but I knew I’d be gutted if I missed out.

Andy egged me on, I opened it finally and to my delight……..I saw the word Congratulations first and knew I had it!

My excitement poured out of  me and my delight all to much for Andy who wasn’t used to seeing his boss act like she’s just won the world, not an upgrade to premium economy…its not even business class, but its still good all the same.

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(a view of premium economy)

It was the icing on the cake to what is going to be an amazing adventure with some good mates and my family…….Starting tomorrow!

I will post a brief Itinerary if you’re interested in reading more….