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The Latest Stories By Denise Becker

  • Suicide
  • What now?
  • 20 years, 13 things
  • Speaker’s block
  • Attention deficit

Ms. Crimson Lips

Ms. Crimson Lips

Denise Becker lives in Mission, BC.  She has had HIV for 25 years and enjoys helping others with motivational speeches and blogging.  Her hobbies are photography, writing and spending time with Ziggy, her doberman.

Denise is an inspirational and motivational speaker, on twitter @DeniseSBecker and also blogs under her own website

In 2012, Denise was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.


Speaker’s block

Thursday, 20 February 2014 Written by // Denise Becker - Positive Life B.C. Categories // Social Media, Activism, Women, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Ms. Crimson Lips

A chance to meet a dragon from Dragon’s Den requires Denise Becker to make a video statement, but the normally eloquent Denise, a public speaker herself, becomes tongue-tied.

Speaker’s block

When I received an email from Inbiz that told me I had been selected in the last ten contestants to meet with David Chilton, (above) I could barely contain my excitement.  I had been a CBC Dragon’s Den fan since the early days and the thought of winning dinner with the author of The Wealthy Barber, an investment guru and angel investor, was a dream come true.

There was just one part of the contest left:  to make a video of what my PASSION was. There were strict guidelines.. no professional help allowed, it had to be just you and your statement...

Now, if you were asked what your PASSION was, what would you say?

I could feel a little nervousness. I had so many passions: blogging, photography, my beautiful dog, my Canadian home, fishing, golf, politics, cycling… I wanted to say “my children” of course, but my daughter had long since died.

My true PASSION was to speak in front of live audiences about having HIV and the  stigma faced. To examine other challenges faced in life and put them in perspective.. think about them compared to someone who had an illness and they couldn’t tell anyone else for fear of being ostracized.

I set to work on doing the best video I could but then it happened… SPEAKERS’ BLOCK!

In any art, you can get a block.. writers and artists have times when they just can’t  be creative and it was happening to me.. my nerves were creeping up and strangling my words right out of me.

I turned to the internet for help. I watched TED Talks.. all the speakers looked so relaxed!  I listed to other speakers on YouTube.. it seemed easy.. just like getting back on the bike.. only the pedals were missing!

Finally, I wrote some words down and started the webcam.. the lighting wasn’t right.. I moved from the living room into the bathroom.. perfect!  Then, I heard scratching and looked down to see Dana the cat, walking in.  She looked up at me and started to purr… CUT!!!

An hour later, with Dana on my lap, and my hand waving her paw into the camera, we were filming again… OK!  this was going to be one of those viral pussycat videos.. I could see it now!  But each time I went to talk, Dana decided to leave my lap at the one minute mark of the video.  Out the door with the cat and back to filming!  I realized that cat hair was now flying through the air and landing on my mouth, my face and my nose.. I wanted to wipe away the white fluff and started to sneeze.

At that point, the door opened again.. a face poked around  it:  “You’ve been in here 3hours!”  Really?  What the heck?  It was midnight.  I couldn’t believe it.  I felt sick.. why couldn’t I do a simple 90 second video?  This was crazy… I was a SPEAKER for goodness sake!

I went to bed, tossed, turned, walked around and finally had a drink of warm milk to put myself to sleep.

The next morning, I grabbed the chair and put it in front of the kitchen cupboards. hoping to gain natural light.  My makeup seemed too heavy.. I didn’t care!  Then I remembered how I always got over speakers’ fear in the past.. I sang...Freddie Mercury and Queen came souring out of my mouth..

“We are the CHAMPIONS my friend..We’lll keep on fighting t;tilthe end…”

I danced around the kitchen and knew I had to follow my own advice.. The show must go on!  Challenges must be overcome!


I did it in one take!

The movie seemed a little lame but it was the real me, the honest me, the person who spoke from the heart.. and that was all I could hope for.  My speakers’ block had been removed and the gates were opened!  I did it!

Here it is.