International Speech Competition Meeting

Wednesday was a very special meeting as it was International Speech Competition and Evaluation Competition at Phoenix Speakers.  We had well over 30 attendees comprising of competition participants, judges, functionaries, guests and one mystery speaker. 

 Unfortunately the Windsor Castle had double booked us and so we had a little bit of mayhem to deal with at the start of the evening.  Thankfully Shane was able to get us a conference room at his place of work.  This involved 30+ toastmasters traipsing across Pimlico!  Our thanks to Shane for sorting this out at very late notice.

 President Ed then finally kicked off the evening an hour late.  He explained the unusual nature of the evening and outlined some of the special competition rules.

 Beulah stepped in at the last minute to act as our contest toastmaster for the evening since Isabel had completely lost her voice.  Very well done to Beulah and get well soon Isabel.  Beulah briefly explained the contest toastmaster role as the person who runs and coordinates the competition.

 We then had five competition speeches, the order of which had been drawn from a hat.

 First was Jean-Philippe with ‘Someone Will Be There For You”.  He told us about his dream of winning the international speech contest.  Second out of the hat was Atul who told us a very personal story about his split from his first wife in a speech entitled “Courage Is Hard”.  Next was Shane Snow who told us about thinking big and walking across the Artic in a speech for some reason entitled “Responsibility”.  The fourth speaker was Roland with “Let’s Be Frank” when he told us about the benefits of being more honest and less socially conscious about upsetting people.  The final speaker was Grant with speech about some of the less well known sides of Winston Churchill in “Churchill: Both Sides”.

 After the speeches, whilst the judges deliberated, Beulah with help from the audience used some posters to explain the competition structure in toastmaster and the route to the international final in Las Vegas.

 A short break followed and then it was time for the second completion, the Evaluation contest.  For this context, 5 members evaluated the same speech from a mystery speaker.  The mystery speaker was revealed as Ajay from Cass speakers.  Thanks to Ajay for stepping into this role with only 24 hours’ notice.  He gave a speech about the power of dreams.  After that the Evaluators left the room for 5 mins to prepare during which time those remaining in the room had the opportunity to do a few table topics.

 Following this Shane, Grant, Simon, Roland and Trang Lee each provided their evaluations of Ajay’s speech in turn.  Whilst the judges submitted their reports on the Evaluation context Beulah challenged the audience to further table topics.

 President Ed then returned to the stage.  After handing out participation certificates, then came the exciting moment of the results…  Congratulations to Shane (best Speech) and Simon (best Evaluation) and good luck in the Area 6 contest at the Windsor Castle or whatever venue is available on the night.

 Well done to everyone for a cracking evening.  It was a tough start with the Windsor Castle being double booked but everyone mucked in and we still had a great and successful competition night.  Also lots of thanks to our Contest Chair Elaine who put in a lot of hard work.

 The next meeting is on Wednesday 8 April at 7pm, hopefully back at the Windsor Castle.

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