While Toastmasters International abandoned the tradition of fall contest in humorous speeches our district wisely decided to have the conference anyway. And the lack of official overseer opened new opportunities. For example, for first time ever, we could have contest in Czech and Slovak languages.
You might ask, what good is such a contest to an English-speaking club? Being where we are, we naturally have quite a few Czech speakers. And for some of them, including yours truly, this is exciting new challenge. Therefore, I tried competing with a speech in both languages.
This yielded me benefit already at Area level. When Bjorn whipped out his awesome English speech, at least I managed to advance to next round with the Czech version. The help of the club did not come to waste, as most of delivery skills do not need change between different languages. Thus, I could spread the glory of Brno at the district conference as well.
And it was well worth it. At the glamorous international event, among fierce and numerous competitors the humorous speech landed me third place. Every medal counts and it is nowhere written that glory of Brno Business Toastmasters should be limited to English.
Autumn contests are something else and I am so glad our district wants to continue the tradition of humorous contests. From the moment of arrival people in crazy costumes were setting the mood worthy of the event name- Spontaneous Laughter 2019.
As usual they were highly amusing workshops. “How to tell stories with graphs” was very relevant to all of us from informatics careers. Second one imprinted in my memory was on emotional expression of English speech. Having an actor reveal his skills and making us all practice intensively by the end was quite intense.
Finally, the contests. Brno was very visible. In Czech speeches there was a premiere at that competitive level by yours truly. Coming out third in the “as if proper” round was both encouraging and alarming. In a month the big finals in Bratislava are coming and I will work on bringing some trophy from there as well.
However, highlight was Bjorn’s performance in English speeches. What was loose at Area level he tightly knit together into very cohesive speech with wonderful callbacks escalating until the very end. Without taking away any steam out of his jokes. Bjorn earned well deserved gold for that and we are both looking to Bratislava on 30th November.
It was on the Sunday of 25th August that we gathered, for third time already, to watch and rate World Championship of public speaking. Those who need their Toastmastering fix even on Sunday got what they deserved. The pomp of the most exhilarating conference was felt even if we only observed those six finalists that reached the peak of public speaking. We consumed the thrilling experience of competition, but also went beyond. Toastmaster grows on feedback and giving feedback to excellent speaker is class of its own. That is why, just like last year, we had one evaluator for each contestant to cast serious or not so serious advice to the people who advanced to the top. Watching the best and rating them by us, nearly the best, yielded interesting comparison on preferences between judges in Denver and here. Be it similarities or differences, conclusions were amusing.
Attendees of biggest Toastmasters conference leave impressed by how many lives do Toastmasters touch. Although we weren’t there personally, thanks to the streaming event we were touched as well. See you again next year!
Special thanks to McDermott club for helping hand with video rights.