Stefano Cossalter won the Toastmasters District 21 finals on May 23 with his speech called A Frame Makes the Picture. (Contributed)

Pitt Meadows man vying for a spot in Toastmasters world finals

Stefano Cossalter’s speech about perspective won the District 21 finals

A grandfather’s piece of advice about perspective on life has inspired an award winning speech by a Pitt Meadows man who is competing for a spot in the world finals for Toastmasters.

Stefano Cossalter won the district finals on May 23 with his speech called A Frame Makes the Picture.

Now a video of his speech is before a panel of judges who will be deciding who makes it into the semi-finals.

The heart of the speech is about Cossalter’s relationship with his father, and how his grandfather’s advice changed the course of his life by teaching him to change the way he looks at things.

“That if you change your frames – what I mean is the way you look at things – you can change your mind. And if you can change your mind then you can change your life,” explained Cossalter.

Cossalter has been writing the seven-minute speech for about two years. Each speech he writes is constantly rewritten.

“You write it, then you put it away, then you write it again, then you put it away,” he said.

“I’d say it’s taken me about a year to really hone down,” he added about A Frame Makes the Picture.

This is the second year in a row in which Cossalter has won the district finals.

READ MORE: Last year he won with a speech called A Simple Toothpick that touched on the themes of courage and choices in life.

What was interesting about the competition this year was how it was impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Usually Cossalter would be on a stage in front of a couple of hundred people and he would have to move across the stage to engage the audience.

This year he had to recite his speech stationary, in front of a camera on Zoom, an app that allows for video conferencing.

“Usually you can feed off the audience’s energy. You can feed off their laughter and their emotions that you are evoking from them. But in front of Zoom it’s a completely different experience,” he noted.

Until Toastmasters Cossalter never felt he had anything to talk about.

But his mentor taught him he did.

His mentor told him that if you’ve lived your life, you’ve had pain and it’s the pain points that other people can relate to.

And, if you bring it across in a personal story with a message, then people can really relate to it and it really moves people.

“So, I just look for those pain points and those turning points in my life and kind of moulded the speech around those,” he said.

Cossalter will find out sometime in June if he will be going on to the semi-final and finals that will be taking place at the end of the summer.

They were supposed to be held in Paris, France, this year. But due to COVID-19 will be held online.

Cossalter sees this year as a second chance to make it to the finals.

“I’m really excited to do it,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Many Americans work in Canada and have U.S. licence plates

A letter writer challenges the notion that most U.S. licence plates belong to tourists

Maple Ridge woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s property when it was killed on June 21

PHOTOS: Otter Co-op opens in east Abbotsford

New grocery store hosts grand opening on Monday morning

Shoppers Drug Mart launches in-store virtual service at several B.C. stores

The service is now available in 12 rural B.C. communities and will expand province-wide in August

ON COOKING: Berry good ideas from Chef Dez

Blueberries work well in sweet or savory dishes.

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

Most Read