“Confessions of a Corn Detasseler”
USDA Toastmasters Club 3294 Humorous Contest
September 11, 2013
USDA South Building
This is not a very fun post to write, because my 2013 fall contest season is over. I placed second in both the Humorous contest and the Table Topics contest during our club level competition last Friday.
On one hand, I can say I was honestly beat in both competitions. The Humorous contest was won by Evans, a fairly new member in our club, who has a knack for telling stories that I have not just been able to match. I know he has a very good shot to advance through the next couple levels of competition.
My humorous speech has been nothing but frustrating. I have been trying to brainstorm ideas essentially since driving home from the District convention last spring. By mid summer I had finally settled on a speech about my teenage job of detasseling, hoping to relate it to everyone’s first teenage job. Despite trying to compile stories since early August, I was just never able to get anything together in a cohesive way. In what ended up being my first two points were stories that were inserted very late in the process because they fit better under by Morrison AOL jobs article structure.
Looking back, it was actually much smoother than I thought it was going to be. Not close to perfect, but still better than what I thought it would be. While I got in a few funny lines, the speech wasn’t near as funny as it needed to be. It just frustrates me that I still can’t get the “stories from the heart” strategy down.
The Table Topics contest saw similar results. (It is almost embarrassing that the defending District champion can’t get out of his club a year later, but to be fair, the man I lost to happened to be the defending District 36 Table Topics champion). After getting the question: “If you could open a restaurant, what type of restaurant would you open? and where would you open it?”, I expounded on how I would like to open a restaurant on Capitol Hill. I was able to get it fairly structured, but I just wasn’t able to match the energy of Clarence.
I am pretty down at this point, but my only solace is that this is the story I tell to the audiences who are asking me if I ever faced adversity on the way to competing for the World Championship. Time to start writing for the spring International contest.
Video credit: T. Dahlman, 2013