A Tree in the Forest

What do you make of a guy beginning a speech with his measurements? Who does that? Maybe he’s hoping you’ll hire him to do underwear modeling. Or he’s not feeling well and has decided to order a pine casket just in case. Or he’s hoping to be upgraded to business class because, you see, he just doesn’t fit the economy seats.

Vincent opened his icebreaker speech this week with his measurements for a different reason. A better one. He wanted to show us the way his mind works.

“I’m five-one,” he said. “A hundred six pounds.” Standing there, he wasn’t a whole lot taller than the lectern. He still sometimes buys his clothes in the kids’ section, he admitted with a shy smile. “How old do you think I am?” Vincent asked the group, putting us on the spot. Turns out he’s twenty-four. He could probably pass for sixteen, in low light.

Vincent was saying to us, Here I Am in a way that made perfect sense from his perspective. He is the sum of the details about him. His is a mind that looks at the world from the molecular level. He’s a tree man, not a forest man. “I’m actually a little jealous of people who see the big picture,” he said.

It turns out, though, that this is all tremendous luck for Vincent. Being a tree man is advantageous for the work he does. Vincent’s a software designer. You’ve got to be able to look for bugs in individual lines of code. It’s like looking for mistakes in a huge handmade carpet and systematically fixing them. When you’re all done you can stand back and admire the design on the whole rug, but until then you don’t even see it.

Vincent was soft-spoken and thoughtful and altogether winning. He’ll be a great addition to VanCore. We know him a little better now. He showed us his component parts.

About Vancore Toastmasters

Build your public speaking and leadership skills at a dynamic mid-week, mid-day downtown Vancouver Toastmasters club.
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