Toastmasters Speech: Level 2, Speech3


What is a protégé?

A protege is someone who submits themselves to their mentor and that is not an easy thing to do. First, you have to trust the person and believe that your mentor has your best interest at heart. Second, you have to know that they have the experience to guide you. Third, you have to fight yourself and dance with your fears so that you can do things you’ve never done before in order to follow through on what you were asked to do.

1. 2. 3.

Simple. Not so simple.

1. Find a person of trust.

I hated school but my friend James and I made a decision we would open up a bar so we signed up for a bartending course at George Brown College. He didn’t earn his last 1/2 credit and didn’t graduate at the same time as me, so I had to change my program. I thought I would take Small Business Management and let him catch up and join me later. The first semester was easy. I am not sure I attended much, but I did manage to buy some good music at Sam the Record Man on Dundas and Young.

The second semester was different. I had to take a communication class, but I elected to skip it. I heard rumours all week what fun it was and decided to show up the following week. My teacher didn’t scold me. He shook my hand and told me that my presence was missed and that I was an amazing person.

I believe him. His name is John McRae and I have been connected with him since 1991. Good people are hard to find, but when you meet them, you should never let go.

2. Make sure they have the experience.

We didn’t know it at the time, but we got John into a lot of trouble at the time. He was teaching the communication course and had us reading Man’s Search For Meaning and Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.  We decided to be kind as well, so we wrote these beautiful words to the Dean thanking him for such great course material and such a great teacher.

We learned later that our teacher had numerous meetings for not following procedure and teaching things outside of the curriculum. What we thought was helping him, was actually slowly pulling the rug from under him.

3. Do whatever they tell you

You can’t jump in half assed or you’ll drown. If you’re willing to dive off the diving board, you might as well, not fall yelling and screaming, because you’ll make a painful belly flop and your lungs will fill up with water.

If you trust your mentor, you cannot take short cuts. You have to forget how you feel. What you think. How you’d like to do it, and just follow through.

John has become a great friend over the years. I consider him a second father. He helped me believe in myself. Taught me that I had many talents, some of which I am still discovering.

He is the reason I went to university. He is the reason I became a teacher and he is the reason why I volunteer my time and try to help people become better people

Remember the formula.

1. Trust someone to guide you.

2. Make sure they know more than you

3. Don’t change a comma and do exactly what they tell you.


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Charles Deluvio via