“Help! I am trapped inside the computer!” – a speech by Geoff Peters

Geoff from geoffmobile.com does his Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech. The purpose of this speech is to introduce myself to the group, and have a clear intro, body, and conclusion.

Club 59 Toastmasters in Vancouver BC Canada
meeting in the Kitsilano Yacht Club.

Video recorded by Connie. Thank you!!

Speech notes (not exact transcription):

I’m Trapped inside a Computer — Geoff Peters

Good evening fellow toastmasters, madame chair, and madame toastmaster.
I’m Geoff and I’m here to tell you about myself.
I’m a 30 year old software developer and I grew up in the Vancouver area.
To give you an idea of who I am, I’d like to share a couple of stories from my childhood.

1. Help I’m Trapped Inside the Computer!
When I was 6 years old, in Grade 1, my uncle gave us a computer. This was 1987.
Computers were quite new then. It was one of the first Apple Computers, an Apple II plus. It only had capital letters, and had a green glowing screen and two large floppy disk drives. There were not very many programs available for it, but it had a language called “Basic” that you could program in. My dad was an engineer, and had learned about computers before, so he taught me how to write a simple program. I loved that computer, and wanted to use it all the time. But my parents told me that I would only be allowed to use the computer if I practiced my piano first.
I spent many hours in our darkened den, typing away and learning about computer programming. And one day, I came up with an idea for a program, which is actually a bit of Artificial Intelligence. The program was this:
Line 100 — Print “Help, I am trapped inside the computer!”
Line 200 — Goto Line 100
I turned off the lights and pressed the enter key to run the program. The screen suddenly was full of the flickering message, indicating that the computer was alive and that someone was trapped inside.

2. Newspaper
Five years later, when I was 11 years old and in Grade 5, I continued my interest in computers. My elementary school had a computer lab, and I discovered that I was allowed to use the computers after school. My friend and I started exploring the programs available, and there was a simple program that let you type letters, and add clip-art graphics. They also had some dot-matrix printers that let you print out the work. I decided I would write a newspaper, and every week I was busy writing stories such as “Pigs Pig Out” and “Wolves Unhappy with Dances with Wolves movie”. My dad was my editor, and I sold the newspaper for 25 cents each to my parents, grandparents, and teachers at the school. This was also the beginning of my entrepreneurial spirit, and my interest in media. One day, a schoolyard bully came by at recess, and asked to buy one. After I gave him the newspaper, he handed me a coin, and he ran off. Then I saw that the coin was only a nickel. That taught me a lesson about business at an early age.

3. Programming, and other Creativity
Jump now to 5 years ago. I had finished my computing science and business degree at Simon Fraser University, and had worked for a year writing restaurant reviews for FoodVancouver.com. I was looking for a career with a good company, and a friend recommended that I apply at SAP. SAP is one of the world’s largest software companies, with 54,000 employees and 13 billion in yearly revenue. At SAP I have been lucky to work with some of the top software developers in Vancouver and contribute my skills to products that are used all around the world. I also play jazz piano, study film and videography at Langara College, and have a loving partner and family. Life is good. My main goal at the moment is to improve my speaking and communication skills, and toastmasters has been an excellent place to grow.

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