On March 26, 2014, the Vatican Insider published the story of Jersey Vargas.   The little Mexican girl traveled from Los Angeles California to the Vatican in Rome to attend Pope Francis’ General Audience. At the end of the Audience, she hopped over one of the barriers and rushed to the front row, and met the Pope. Her purpose, was to speak out on behalf of her father Mario Vargas, currently being held in prison in the state of Tennesse for over a year awaiting deportation. Jersey asked the pope for help.  This resulted in a wave of press attention across the world — and yes, help for her father! Currently Jersey’s sister, Ledyi Vargas is in my COMM 101, public speaking class at Los Angeles Valley College.  The proud big sister, Leydi, brought Jersey to class with her and did a speech about her.  I then asked Jersey if she wanted to give a speech.  She jumped at the opportunity.  And in doing so, inspired the entire class with the power of her words.

The King’s Speech II

After I wrote my first speech in Fall of 1991, my speech coach Marty Tarras, after reading what I wrote — or “trying to read it,” I should say — looked at me, and with the harshest of terminology (see Practical Lessons From “The King’s Speech” I) questioned my mental ability.

Thank you Lord for Marty!

My dad (Gene Smith) is one of my biggest fans and helpers. He is always doing things for me, and offering help in all aspects of my life. Specifically for our purpose here, my father is always searching for, and passing to me articles from magazines and newspapers that have to do with public speaking. Recently my dad found a great article in Readers Digest. Discovered in the Work Digest section, dated May 2011 – the article is titled: “Master Your Presentation, Five Lessons from The King’s Speech.”

In 1996-1997 while attending graduate school, and coaching with the California State University Los Angeles Forensics team I worked with two other coaches, Josh Miller (who I still work with today), and Dustin Lee Abraham. Before I go any further it is important to clarify that the forensics I am referring to is not dead bodies, but rather speech and debate – competitive public speaking!   The three of us coached the CSLA speech team together, and prior to that each of us had competed for four years. We were what is known in the speech community as forensicators. Dustin all along however, had made it VERY known that he was in the Los Angeles area, originally from Las Vegas, because of Hollywood!   He wanted to be an actor.