Small Town Boy, Big City Man

This is the story of a boy who, with Japanese as his trusty guide, journeyed from his small-town roots in search of transformation in the big city.

The recording was filmed during the Language and Intercultural Mind Conference on November 16, 2012, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

希望の星(Kibou no Hoshi) A Star of Hope

This is my entry for the 25th Annual British Columbia Japanese Speech Contest in March 2013, held at the University of British Columbia on March 2, 2013. My speech title was "希望の星”(Kibou no Hoshi/A Star of Hope) and I spoke about the formative experience I had at 20 years old of making my first Japanese friend, Shouta (pictured in thumbnail) in Japan and how his encouragement and empathy helped make my first few months of living in Japan a time I will never forget. I received third place in the University/Open Advanced Category for the speech.

ことばの漁師 (Kotoba no Ryoushi) The Language Fisherman

My entry for the 6th Annual Seto International Centre Japanese Speech Contest my struggle to learn Japanese, the secret of world of Kanji, a hybrid crab-alligator, and my dream of becoming a bridge between Japan and Canada. It received the Seto North Rotary Club President's award. 

Why Say Goodbye?

My Icebreaker Speech (after joining this club) given at the Night Vision Toastmasters meeting, introducing myself to the club and touching on the importance of saying goodbye.

初めまして Nice to Meet You

This is my speech 初めまして(Hajimemashite), which I entered and received a Bronze Award for at the 3rd Annual Exchange Student Japanese Speech Contest at Nagoya Gakuin University in Nagoya, Japan, on November 27, 2013. 

The title means "Nice to Meet You" in Japanese and the speech was inspired by my friend's story about her complex around her skin colour, and my own story of my complex. In it I describe how reimagining your complex can make it a meaningful part of your identity, on top of being a fun way to introduce yourself. This speech and this story is where my inspiration to create came from.

The Missing Piece

Project 8 - Get Comfortable With Visual Aids from the Toastmasters International Competent Communicator manual

This speech, given at the Sakae Toastmasters club, is built around my experiences with learning Japanese. The speech is about the challenges of learning a new language and a mindset that can help you become more patient, optimistic and understanding along the way.

One Last Game

Project 7 - Research Your Topic from the Toastmasters International Competent Communicator Manual

This speech was given at the Sakae Toastmasters Club in Nagoya, Japan. In it, I talk about the common perceptions about gamers and video games, why games are so engaging, and the merits of playing a really great game. 

It was heavily inspired by Jane Mcgonigal's work, in particular, her book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

Where's The Leash?

Speech Project 9 - Persuade with Power from the Toastmasters International Competent Communicator manual.

Heavily inspired by author Brené Brown's work, in particular, her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

The Sweetest Dreams

Speech Project 10 - Inspire Your Audience from the Toastmasters International Competent Communicator manual

This was my final speech project from the Competent Communicator manual in which I share the story of the bumpiest road trip of my life.

国際的な家族 (Kokusai teki na Kazoku) International Family

This is my speech entry for the 28th Annual British Columbia Japanese Speech Contest on March 5th, 2016, held at the Simon Fraser University. 

My speech iss about how your understanding of different cultures and people can be be shaped dramatically by the families you grow up with, become a part of, and even reunite with after many years apart. This is the story of how the Japanese language helped unite my three families of three different nations, despite being oceans and countries apart.