Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest - Speech

2011 - Ottawa Division C

Mr. Toastmaster -  Fellow Toastmasters

Being laid-off from your public service job is rarely a delight.

It is a traumatic event – you lose your pay, your pension, your career, but I think it is most sad because some people feel debilitated -  their self-esteem and sense of self worth have been diminished.

After all, you and your job have been examined and found wanting by a highly publicized and venerated process – the government strategic review.

So what do you do ?  Well, I have a suggestion that might help –   if you become unemployed – as a result of a Government Strategic Review - you should try to learn from the experience and the government’s example.

You should try to apply those lessons to your stressed personal situation.

And this is the purpose of my presentation to you this evening.   To show how you can apply the principles and processes of a government review tof your personal life.  This is what it would be like if we ran our own lives like they run the country.

1)  Call of meeting of your family and inform your spouse and children that you will be reassessing your relationship with them and doing so on a four-to-five year cycle going forward.  That they will be required to demonstrate rigorous results - against priorities that have not been established yet, that will always be kept vague, and that will probably change anyways.   

2)  Break your home and personal possessions into separate little “Operating Units”  – to function on cost recovery.   Soon you will be able to see whether renting your car out as a bandit taxi or operating your bathrooms as public pay toilets generate enough revenue to be maintained – there are options for the bedroom as well, but the main part of the exercise will be to ensure that other rooms and possessions that only have general benefit are boarded up, disposed, or sent to recycling.

3)  Create a portfolio of special committees inviting your family to develop reallocation scenarios and reinvestment proposals to keep them occupied, distracted, and placated as you implement other elements of your personal Strategic Budget and Program Review.

4)  As resources diminish, look at Common Services provided within your family – things like parenting – and see whether they could not be collapsed into one unit.
5)  Invite an ongoing stream of semi-knowledgeable strangers into your home to assess your possessions and comment on whether you are managing your life effectively or efficiently - in their best interests and the interests of some unidentified taxpayer.

6)  Rebrand your family for show and to echo the Strategic Operating Review themes -rename your children - christening them to better resonate with the current trends – using names such as “Audit” and “Control” for boys -  and for the girls - “Efficiency.”

7)  Waste a tremendous amount of time on studies and the review of papers – but do it laying on the couch so you can call it a “Horizontal Review” -  of opportunities for improvement.

8)  Like the deck chairs on the stern of a cruise ship, move furniture around so that it all points toward the back of your house – explaining that it is a process of “renewal” - aimed at creating an environment that encourages alignment and focus.

9)  In all such reviews, you must give priority to preserving and meeting your “legislated” or "statutory" obligations – things like bankruptcy proceedings, divorce courts, and lawyers for mortgage renegotiation.

10) Go further into debt, borrow millions of dollars if you can to create a special fund for the implementation of this plan to dismantle your life.

And ...  If you do identify genuine and valid ways to save money and reduce expenditures ...

Sit on them – pretend they do not exist - and keep losing money – and do not implement any changes until they can be announced in a news conference or speech to a Board of Trade - sometime after the next Federal Budget is announced.

So, in conclusion, fellow Toastmasters, it is clear to what extent  the principles and process of the Strategic Review are universally applicable, rock solid, and infallible.

And if you do lose you job to the process, it should be clear how much it has to do with you personally and professionally and as a human being.

Thank you.