Toastmasters again–contest season

January 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

January 30, 2010

For anyone who wants to learn to speak well, Toastmasters is an organization you’ll want to check out. On its home page, you can read:

The nonprofit organization now has nearly 250,000 members in more than 12,500 clubs in 106 countries.

Toastmasters is not only for those who want to speak professionally, but also for those who want to improve their communication skills, both for impromptu and prepared speeches. By being involved, one also learns leadership skills.

You can read more here and find a local club.

We approach  the second contest season of the Toastmasters year— the Evaluation Contest and the International Speech Contest. Contests are an opportunity to have fun with our speaking and to recognize the skill developed through Toastmasters programs. If there are other reasons, someone else can supply them.

In the Evaluation contest, the Vice President of Education puts out a call ahead of time for a target speaker, which some call a test speaker, usually from another club in the area. The speaker’s name is not made known ahead of time. This Toastmaster arrives at the host club on the contest day and gives a speech. Those who are competing in the club contest evaluate the speaker’s performance. The competitors are judged on their evaluations on how relevant and helpful they are to the speaker. The winner goes on to the area contest, and if that person wins at the  area contest,  he or she goes on to Division contest.

The International Speech contest is the only contest for which speakers must have achieved a certain level— the sixth speech of the basic manual. Winners from the club go onto Area contests, then Division and so on, like the other contests, but this contest goes right to the International level. We see the quality of these speakers who give keynote speeches at our district conference, and we hear the run-off of the contests with members from our own district. What a feast it is to hear them all present.

Our club is getting ready for the contests, on the 4th and 11th of February respectively. This time I’m competing in both. Should be interesting and entertaining. We love to have guests, so let us know if you’re coming.

Giving the toast to Canada at the District 86 Fall conference in Collingwood.  Next to me is Merri Macartney, DTM, Lieutenant Governor Education and Training.

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Entry filed under: speaking. Tags: , .

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