Wednesday was the day of the Fall contests in my local Toastmasters club.
We only had two contestants in the table topics contest and I went second, so I did not did not get to see my competition.
The contest question was “Describe one of your pet peeves”. I immediately started talking about the vacation I just returned to DC from the day prior and how I hate it when people recline their seats into my knees in airplane economy seats.
I was able to keep my points going well and I was able to remain conversational. There were a couple of stumbling points, but nothing too bad. I didn’t pause before the speech started to allow my mind to come up with a good topic and plan a structure in which I wanted to attack the topic. My weaknesses in table topics have always been immediately coming up with a good angle on the topic, trying to maintain a semblance of organization and probably most of all, keeping up the energy during the speech.
I think I did an adequate job in those areas, but I really need to step up my game if I want to compete in the next couple levels of competition.
But probably the biggest disappointment of the day is that for a second consecutive year, I did not compete in the Humorous Contest. The easy excuse is that I spent the seven previous days in Minnesota and really wasn’t thinking a lot about Toastmasters, but I spent a good chunk of the summer attempting to come up with a good idea. My wife and I even spent a good chunk of time on car trip about three weeks ago trying to brainstorm ideas. I think one of the hardest part of giving speeches is actually coming up with the idea and I simply haven’t been able to come up with something I really like for the Humorous contest in two to three years. I need to get back to giving more speeches, so I can get back on track.