District 27 Evaluation Contest – May 3, 2014

Evaluation of Jim Samuel’s Speech
Tony K. Dahlman
May 3, 2014
2014 Toastmasters Evaluation Speech Contest
District 27
Crowne Plaza National Airport Hotel, Arlington Ballroom
Arlington, VA

Home after a long day at the District 27 Toastmasters Conference and I am really excited to announce that I have taken home my second District first place finish, this time in the Evaluation contest. (The first was a Table Topics victory in 2012).

The model speaker gave an interesting challenge to the evaluation contest by presenting a tall tale story, which is something that I don’t think I have ever seen in a contest before. The speech was titled “My Hungry Skunk Larry” and told his exaggerated tale of a pet skunk and his predicament one day when he was not able to feed him.

I drew the sixth and final position for the speaking order, which I really don’t mind, because it gives me more time to go over the speech in my head in the preparation room, but it also means that I got to see none of my competition.

I thought my speech went pretty well. I forgot to mention a detail in the “open yourself up” area of the room for improvements by asking him to make some of his sound effects more exaggerated, but being that time was already around exactly three minutes, it wasn’t necessarily a bad omission in hindsight. I also felt that I could have been a lot smoother, but re-watching the video this evening, it wasn’t near as bad as I thought.

Knowing nothing about my competition, I had to rely on Karla who said that she was pretty impressed by the rest of the speakers. I was getting really nervous and down about having another bad performance when one of Karla’s favorites was announced as second place and another of her favorite had not even been given a placing. But, it was a big relief when I heard my name for first place.

Going through the line for the lunch buffet another Toastmaster (who made a point of saying that he was a a “former District champion”) said that he hasn’t been able to get past Area for a few years and based upon today’s competition, he believes it is because he doesn’t have enough introduction and structure in his evaluation speeches. I have long wondered if I worry too much about about fluff intros in my evaluations (if you look at the Evaluation Contest Judge’s Ballot there are no points given for anything but the analysis and technique), but to be honest, I enjoy giving these types of speeches a lot more, and they seem to be working.

A big thanks to my club, USDA Toastmaster Club 3294, for letting me give a ton of practice evaluation speeches during meetings in the last month.

Photo credit: T. Kooyman, 2014
Video credit: K. Koudelka, 2014

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Posted in contest, speech, Toastmasters

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