Speech: Conspiracy Theory Contest Winner ’05, by Deb Shapiro

Speech Title : “TMI, RS, DS, and the NRT: A Toastmaster’s Conspiracy Theory”

(Don’t worry, almost ALL will be REVEALED… just keep reading!)

Forget Kennedy and the Grassy Knoll. Forget Area 51, the “Men in Black” Conspiracies, or the plots and the intentions of the Illuminati!  There is a much more sinister conspiracy going on right here, right now and under our very noses!

Mister Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and suspicious looking Guests:

I want to tell you about the TMI -RS, DS conspiracy embraced by the NRT!

Yes: I mean the Toastmasters International’s (TMI) own Renaissance Speaker’s  (RS) Conspiracy to keep DS, (Debbie Shapiro) in this conspiratorial contest against her will!  I will enumerate this conspiracy and show how it is embraced fully by the NRT: the NO RESPONSIBILITY THEOREM.

Now I hold in my hands 2 Public Documents (shows audience): vis a vis: The Renaissance Speaker’s  Schedules and Directories for the periods of 17 July 2005 – 21 Aug 2005 and  its successor: the Schedule for 28 Aug 2005-2 Oct 2005.

You will see on the front page some handwritten notes stating that the “First Craig Shaeger Memorial Conspiratorial Speech Contest” was to be held on Sunday Aug 7th; yes folks NOT Sept. 4 but August 7th, nearly four weeks earlier!  It was at the time of the release of said document that this contest was first announced by our very own IPP  (Immediate Past President)  Mick Coventry.

At that moment, I was  innocently seated in the audience, listening to what I thought was just a regular announcement of Club business, when  suddenly, I felt a weird sensation come over me and a compulsion to lift my hand high into the air as Mick asked for volunteers to participate in this contest. Now I’m not saying that I was somehow secretly drugged at the time, nor am I saying that it’s possible that someone else in the audience sitting behind me —Richard Stewart— might have “beamed me” this intention to publicly humiliate myself –but somehow, the next thing I knew, my hand was in the air, and I don’t think it was me that raised it!

What I HAD done folks was  volunteer for the HUMOROUS SPEECH CONTEST that had been set up around the same time and which was supposedly being held on August 7th.  Two different contests announced for the same day, the same Club, in the same room! Mere coincidence?  I DON”T  THINK SO…

The plot thickens: An email in my possession will shed some light on the secret shufflings and confusions of this dark time in Renaissance Speaker’s history: In it DS herself, seems to claim complicity in originally volunteering for the task,  but  I am certain that the NRT (NO RESPONSIBILITY THEORUM) will back me up and show how she was ultimately  not responsible for any of this mess:

You’ll see too:  (passing out copies of the document in question): There is an “S” for Speaker inked in by my name and the abbreviation “CONSP” which can only mean “Conspiracy Contest” crossed out. Further backing my claim are these emails sent amongst myself, The Purple Queen (Club President Debbie Ellish) and our VP Education, Margaret McCarthy, Dated July 19, 2005: ( I will read this pertinent excerpt):

(Quoting): “I also had originally volunteered to speak at the Conspiracy meeting which was originally to be on Aug 7; then Humorous Speech contest got moved to Aug 7 and I volunteered for that; (and cancelled out on the Conspiracy Speech Contest, cuz I didn’t think I could make it on the day someone said it was being moved to”….(END QUOTE)

Follow carefully now:  Around the same time that these contests of wit and skill were being scheduled, another extremely notorious TM, one Lance Miller,“cha-chinged” his way to the Regional Contest Winner’s Circle and it was this event which was to now figure in the continued disorientation of our schedule of Events.  Enter: Kathy Oliver, known for her PR Expertise, she swiftly organized a “Friends of Lance Miller Event” …which on the surface was designed to raise funds to send Lance off to Toronto to compete in the International Speech Contest;  but in reality was established only to further disorient and displace the aforementioned previously scheduled contests: for now The LANCE MILLER EVENT was occurring on the 14th of August and the Craig Schaeger Conspiratorial Speech Contest was moved up to September 4th, Labor Day Weekend. And I don’t know how the hell it happened but somehow I was omitted as a Speaker in the Humorous Speech Contest, not once but twice; despite the fact that I publicly corrected Ms. McCarthy,(our Vice President Education) here in this  very room after what seemed an innocent omission of my name from the Speaker’s list. At that time, (and some of you may remember this): I raised my hand yet again: saying that I was supposed to be speaking in the contest and Margaret wrote my name down on her clipboard.

At the same time I publicly announced my intention to remove myself as a competitor in the Conspiratorial Speech Contest; because I believe by that time the mysterious unknown drug or mental coercion had been lifted from me and I had been returning to my senses.

In support of my contention that I had no intention to compete in this Sept. 4th contest: witness our latest schedule which our very own VP Production, Jeff Harmon, so painstakingly worked out.  Under this date and following across from my name you will see the typed in “X” which signifies that I had indeed said I would not be active this week.

I even have an email (holds up document) which was sent to Mr. Harmon to prove the validity of  my claim:  (READS:) “Dated Monday, August 8, 2005 at 4:36 PM sent to Jeff Harman : ‘Aug 21 and 28 I will be away for a vacation with my son. Sept 4 is IFFY as well’ ”.  IFFY indeed! Yet despite all this public and documented avowal of my intention to absent myself from this contest on this very date, Mr. Mick Coventry had secretly been plotting to keep me in his contest.

On Thursday Aug 25, at a Foundations of Brilliance Seminar; conveniently being held in The Way To Happiness Building in beautiful downtown Glendale,  (another connection with our Golden Boy,  The Way To Happiness Campaign’s International President, Mr. Lance “Cha-ching” Miller):

In that very building, I meet up with Mick  Coventry, the Contest Sponsor, who tells me that I am scheduled to speak. I say I am not. He says I am. I say I”M NOT!. He says I must. And then he proceeds to use some special DTM trick or Black Belt -Martial Arts -Mind Control kind of weird voice intention on me to make me say    “OK, I’ll do it”.

But the NRT will prevail. I still take NO RESPONSIBILITY for being in this contest:  maybe my hand did it;  maybe my mouth said it… but it wasn’t me…One day soon: I hope to find out just WHO IS responsible for this deep conspiracy and when I do I will be sure to take NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT EITHER!

Mr. Toastmaster.

About Deb Shapiro

I joined The Renaissance Speaker's Distinguished Toastmasters Club back in 2005. I wanted to get back in touch with my creative goals as well as honing skills as a public speaker, in a "safe" environment. Well, this Club is as fun and friendly as it gets! I'm now an Advanced Toastmaster Silver and look forward to doing more of the Toastmaster's Communicator and Leadership programs.