Our first club competition experience – views from Brana and Timi

For those that are new to Toastmasters, contest season offers a fresh and unique insight into the world of Toastmasters that is not displayed in regular club meetings. There is a whole new level of organisation, speech craftsmanship, audience engagement and diligence that is exciting and educational all at the same time.
Two fairly new members to our club share their experiences with seeing a club contest for the first time below.
Brana’s experience:
Toastmasters helps us learn the art of public speaking in an intimate and friendly environment. To add to the fun, it also includes a competitive spirit with regular contests. Last week our club WiBF Speakers City, was proud to organise not one but two contests – the International Speech and Evaluation Contests. Our president Nadine chaired the speech contest whilst Anqi chaired the evaluation contest.
Once again the speeches were fueled with variety, humour and captivating personal stories. During the speech contest, Rowena made us laugh about joys of getting older. She shared her concerns of finding George Osbourne sexy. I look forward to the budget announcement this week which I’ll be watching from a different angle this time round!
Ivy shared a message of hope and friendship in her captivating speech. Sayara’s story about her childhood sounded like a fairy tale and won the heart of the judges, being voted the best speech.
Emily was our mystery speaker and was evaluated by Elizabeth, Sayara,   Susan and Timi. It was Timi’s first evaluation ever!
Timi’s Experience
Yes it was my first evaluation ever!  There were great evaluators in the competition, so I thought it will be very beneficial for me to compare my evaluation to theirs to understand  what I need to do differently. Before the contest I was thinking about how I would like to structure and deliver my evaluation, and decided on  a few things I would like to focus on which were:

1.       Emphasize the strengths and weaknesses

2.       Clear, logical and constructive comments

3.       Helpful, positive and practical recommendations

It is not easy to meet my own requirements but I thought this would be the kind of evaluation I would like to receive – treat people how you want to be treated! We should not forget it!

The contest was brilliant! I learnt a lot and enjoyed listening to all the speeches and evaluations, as well as meeting people from other clubs. We had the surprise visit of Nadine’s (club President) mum, who seemed very proud, and rightly so, of her daughter’s hosting skills. It was a very enjoyable evening!
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