Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Speech

Well, tonight, at my Toastmasters club, I was in a Humorous Speech Contest, then in a Table Topics Contest.

The Speech Contest was to be a Humorous Speech of 5 to 7 minutes. There had been 3 of us entered, but Val dropped out for some reason, so it was Catherine and myself. We drew cards to see who would speak first, and I won that dubious honor, haha. I felt that I did pretty good. Then it was Catherine's turn, also a good speech. However, I am pretty sure she went over time and for that you are disqualified. However, that can not be confirmed, so it's just my opinion. Anyway, I took first place which feels great but would feel better if I could know I had taken it fair and square, rather than by default.

In the Table Topics Contest, there were 3 of us: Val, Catherine & myself, and we spoke in that order. With this contest, the contestants are all given the same topic to talk about, so must all leave the room and only return as it's their turn to speak. You are then given the topic and you have to do an impromptu speech. This is to be a 1 1/2 to 2 minutes speech. Being 3rd, I didn't get to listen to the other 2 speeches... sigh. The topic was "Fall is in the air. In the beautiful, sunny Okanagan, there are 4 distinct seasons. Could you please tell us which season you like the best and why." Apparently, Val chose to talk about Fall, and Catherine about Summer. I spoke about my love of Spring. Val won 1st place!! However, we get to send 2 people to Area Contest, so I am going on to this contest as well. I'm not sure if I won this spot, or if Catherine did and forfeited it as she did say something about not being able to be there that evening.

I had Joanne use my digital camera to video my speech, and all 3 table topics speeches. She did a good job of the speech, but had some problems with the camera during the table topics segment, so didn't manage to get more than bits and pieces of those. I am uploading the video of my speech, "Horsing Around" to YouTube so I can post it here for you to see.

After meeting feedback that I got included:
- it's not all that funny, needs more humor. This person thought I should add in a snake, but personally, I don't see any humor in a snake scaring a horse and getting someone bucked off. You see, the speech I gave was all true, but we can use fiction any time we want, and she felt that this bit of fiction would be funny.
- it's a story, not a speech... it needs a message and doesn't have one. "Milk" the humor.

So, lots to work on to improve this speech before October 3 when I compete at the next level, against people from other clubs. Next Monday, September 29, I get to give my speech again in our club as part of the process of preparing for the Area Contest. I will be giving my "new" version of tonight's speech, and sure hope I can make it better by then.

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