Marty shot in suit with one hand in pocket

The Mashup Revised History of the American Revolution

Last Friday, October 5, 2012, I was asked to be the “target” speaker for the Toastmasters State of Georgia Fall Conference Evaluation Contest.  In other words, I was the speaker that the five Evaluation contestants would listen to, and then prepare their evaluation of my speech, each trying to be known as the “Best Evaluator” in the State of Georgia.  Since it was an after dinner speech, I decided to have a little fun, and create a light but hopefully humorous speech for entertainment.  I hope you can see the humor and the over the top absurdity to this speech.  It received a lot of laughter and nice comments from the evaluators, but I also learned where I could improve my speech content, pacing, physical movement and the use of pauses.

So, I learned something, the audience enjoyed the speech and the evaluators all had to have their “A” game in order to win!   If you would like to learn more about my Toastmasters club, Peachtree Toastmasters, check us out at  One of the main things I have learned from Toastmasters is that a standard 5-7 minute speech, for me, is about 900 words.  This speech had 902 words.  I have learned that less is better, give the audience time to breathe and think about what you are saying, visualize your stories and words.  I still struggle with giving enough “space” to my speeches, but, thanks to Toastmasters, I am improving!

I hope you enjoy this.

The  Mashup Revised History of the American Revolution

Marty Mercer, Target Evaluation Contest Speaker

Georgia Toastmasters Fall Conference, Augusta, GA, October 5, 2012

Thank you Madam Contest Master.

My fellow Toastmasters, guests and contestants, two weeks ago my wife and I spent two days touring the great city of Boston.   Everywhere I went I used a social media tool called Foursquare to “check in” to all the famous sites and posted witty sayings and photo’s, all of which were tweeted for the world to see.  Foursquare gives you points for various check-in’s and you can earn virtual badges, like the Back to School badge when I checked into the Harvard campus.

After our trip I began to think about how funny it would have been if Paul Revere had today’s social media tools in  1775.  A “mashup” of Paul Revere using social media during his midnight ride!  Like the Aerosmith and Run-DMC song that was played after my introduction, two completely different ideas, or songs, mashed together.  I think it would have played out like this……..

On the morning of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere checked his email and noticed that he had received a LinkedIn invite from a group called The Midnight Riders.  Paul loved riding his horse in the evening and he thought this would be a great networking group for his business!  He accepted the invite and noticed that they met for lunch that day at O’Leary’s tavern.

During lunch he was told the Midnight Riders were really disloyal Colonists who wanted to overthrow King George.  And they were looking for a man to ride to Concord that night.  Paul immediately volunteered.  The leader told him to follow the Twitter handle @notaxationwithoutrepresentation, and await further instructions.

Later that day Paul got a tweet that said “go to the Charles River and look for boat by bridge.  Send your teenaged son to Old North Church to be messenger. 1 by land, 2 by sea #wehatebritishtea”  Paul was so excited!  He sent his son to the church and told him to wait for a text that would either say “land” or “sea”.

As 9 pm approached Paul was having trouble finding the boat by the river.  Luckily for him, he was still using the iPhone 4s and so his Google maps worked great, thank goodness he decided not to upgrade!  Paul jumped in the boat and began to paddle across the Charles River to where his horse would be waiting.  He looked up at the Church, but didn’t see any lights.  Just then he got a text from his son, “Dad, was it 1 by land and 2 by sea or 1 by sea and 2 by land?”  Argh, Paul skyped  his son and got the right message face to face… by land it was!

On the way to Concord, the first town Paul hit was Somerville.  By now he was hungry and thirsty.  So he pulled out his phone and used Yelp to find a good pub.  Smith’s Bar got 4 stars, so he stopped there.  He used Foursquare to check into Smith’s and he earned a free 5 shilling off coupon for the mutton pie!  Great, the Midnight Riders will love his thriftiness!  Before he left Smith’s he changed his Facebook status to, “on a midnight ride!”

As he approached the next town of Medford, he noticed how beautiful the night sky and moon was looking.  So he tweeted “beautiful night view in Medford tonight #downwithkinggeorge” and he sent a photo out with Instagram.

Halfway between Medford and Arlington Paul’s PayPal app suddenly began to buzz about every 30 seconds.  He stopped to check and saw that one of the local rugby teams had purchased 10 silver cups for their annual awards banquet.  Kaching!  Mrs. Revere will love to hear his website was producing revenue!

As Paul eased his way into Concord, he sent a group text to all the families to tell them, “change your Facebook status to ‘fast asleep’ “.  He sent a private tweet to John Hancock and Sam Adams telling them to get out of town, the Brits were on their way, looking for them!  Mission accomplished for Paul!  He was sure that by morning @paulreveremidnightrider would be trending high in Twitter-land!

Now, I know some of you are saying, Marty, this story makes no sense!  Surely the British would be following Paul and monitoring his tweets and social media activity, right.  Well, you see King George made two big mistakes.  One, misunderstood the whole taxing the tea thing.  And secondly, he put all his money in Droids and MySpace!

Near the end of our trip in Boston, I FourSquared at one more spot and I earned the “Oversharing” badge, more than 12 check-in’s in ten hours.  Oversharing, hah!  What if Paul Revere had been worried about oversharing his social media?  He never would have gotten the message to ride.  And he would never have been able to tweet to Hancock and Adams to leave Concord.  Why, without Paul and social media, the British would have captured two key men and eventually won the war, and we would all be British citizens!

We would all be speaking with British accents…… getting ready for the big soccer match between UGA and South Carolina tomorrow……looking at photo’s of a naked Princess Kate in the Augusta Chronicle…..and not having to listen to Obama and Romney go after each other for the next 5 weeks……hmmm, maybe being a British citizen is not such a bad idea after all……..God Save the Queen!

Madam Contest Master!

Copyright All Rights Reserved Marty Mercer, Inc. 2012

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