I spoke in my first speech contest last Tuesday (March 15) for the Summit Toastmasters Club International Speech Contest. As President this past year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at every meeting, you would think a contest would be a cinch…
My first challenge was figuring out a topic. After much debate, I went to the experts. I asked my fellow Toastmaster friends what they would find inspiring and motivating. Several knew that I ride dirtbikes with my husband and suggested that would be an interesting place to start.
The stories I could tell…Maybe I should have used some of the more humorous moments…
I crafted my speech, I cut and I cut to get it down to 5 minutes and 30 seconds while still carrying the message of having the tools, the skills, and the perseverance needed to “Reach for the Summit” of our dreams and goals. I was lucky to have so many Toastmaster friends whose speeches and feedback have inspired me over the last year.
The day came, I was feeling nervous…should I take my notes up there with me, are notes even allowed, should I try to give my speech without the notes (I’d never given a full speech without notes for some areas)…
The evening started with the 2010 District Humorous Speech winner, Judi LaPoint inspiring us to evaluate what rabbits we were chasing in life. (Let me say, Judi is a Tough speaker to follow. She’s awesome!)
I followed…I reviewed my notes during the judging period, stood up to go to the podium sans notes, and went for it. I wish I could say that I stunned the audience with my speaking brilliance, but this season was not to be for me.
The evening continued as we were inspired by Amy Nakos (2010 F2 Humorous Speech Contest Runner-up and 2011 Mrs. Colorado Pageant Keynote Speaker) as she asked us whether we were forcing the puzzle pieces of our lives into the wrong space. We wrapped the evening up with Pat Moore (Advanced Communicator extraordinaire and Humorous Speaker) entertaining us with all of the things she would like to accomplish (Pat that list was great, can I reprint it?)
My first speech contest as a speaker was great as these ladies set the bar high. Although I may not have won, the experience was priceless and I can’t wait to speak with these ladies again. In the meantime, I received some wonderful feedback and I’m tweaking my speech so that I can bring a better version to my club and maybe yours!
You may be wondering who won…Amy Nakos!