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

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

Just Posted

(News files)
Pitt Meadows receives $3.7 million for COVID-19 costs

Provincial grant will cover funding shortfalls and new expenses

(Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
Fire at house on Creekside in Maple Ridge

Residents putting out fire inside garage as firefighters arrive

Tristan points to all the spots on a map of Canada his joke book has been sent. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows boy raises $6,000 for local charities through sales of joke book

Tristan Kennedy’s A Reason to Smile sold more than 500 copies across Canada, and around the world

Public input is being sought for a plan to widen Highway 7 between 266 Street and 287 Street. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Highway widening planned for Maple Ridge

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure asking public for input

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read