Winning the Toastmasters Speech Contest

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A few years ago, I wrote a post about contest speaking called Why you won’t win your contest. This included many of the things I see speaker do at contests all the way up to the World Championship. Since that post in 2011, I’ve seen a few more examples and even competed myself. Instead of […]

Toastmasters: Winning your Division Contest

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It’s been nearly two months since my area contest win, and yesterday I competed in our Division Contest. I was representing my club in the International Speech Contest category. Again, I told the story from my club and area contest, about my experience joining the US Air Force after graduation from High School. I did […]

Toastmasters: Winning your Area Contest

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Just one short week after my club contest win, I competed in our Area Contest. I was representing my club in the International Speech Contest category; I did not compete in the Table Topics category. I retold the story from my club contest, about my experience joining the US Air Force after graduation from High […]

Toastmasters: Winning your Club Contest

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My club held our International Speech and Table Topics contests yesterday (Thursday). After my District win in the Fall Evaluation Contest, I decided to pursue the International Speech trophy this spring, but not table topics. My speech was titled, Things aren’t always as they seem. It was a story about my experience joining the US […]

Winning the District Evaluation Contest – Toastmasters D22 Conference

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What does it take to win a District Evaluation Contest? Before I answer, let’s back up a bit. This year was rare for me. For the first time in over six years I found myself eligible to compete in our District’s fall contest season, including the humorous speech contest and the speech evaluation contest. I […]

Pro tips: Bring your own gear

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Recently I was asked to speak at a conference, and in the pre event discussions we talked about set up and equipment needs. I was asked to bring my own laptop, and the projector would be provided. Since I rarely use PowerPoint visuals, I was able to assure them this wasn’t necessary. When I asked […]

Inside humor

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Have you ever heard a speaker deliver an inside joke? Did you feel included? If not, did the joke make you feel left out? Now imagine yourself with the inside joke. You know it will be funny to a few people (or maybe just one), and you know it will be funny to you. Do you […]

Before I Begin…

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Have you ever heard a speaker say, “Before I start…” (or something similar) when beginning their presentation? Are they using phantom time? Bad news – “Before I begin…” was, well, before…you…began… That’s right, once your introduction is complete, everything you say is counted against your time. If your boss asked you to provide 1-2 minutes […]

Toastmasters: Don’t overdo it

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As the Toastmasters contest season is progressing, I’ve seen some speakers do a few things that may have cost them the win in their club contests. Of course, one or two corrections won’t make you world champ, but if your making some of these mistakes, you won’t even be club champ: 1. Don’t add words. […]

You must get them involved

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When you speak to a friend or your boss, do you simply talk for 30-minutes without a pause? Do you ask a list of questions and proceed without hearing any answers? Do you read slides to him/her the whole time? If you answered “no”to these questions, you’re probably normal in that regard. But, would the […]