“An Introvert and a Ham Sandwich”
Tony K. Dahlman
Toastmasters International Humorous Speech Contest
District 27, Division C, Area 31,
USDA Toastmasters Club 3294
September 10, 2014
USDA South Building, Washington, DC
It is contest season again and I really don’t know what my problem is with the Humorous Speech contest. It remains the only contest that I have never been able to crack into the District final and I have not gotten past the club level for at least the past three consecutive years (and I am really not in the mood to figure out I did in the fall of 2010).
I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to modify my SpeakeasyDC story. I had to cut some stuff and I probably should have punched up some more jokes and added more characterization, but I thought it went pretty well. There was a couple stumbles, but nothing that completely took down the speech.
Unfortunately I ran into fellow club member Evans, who took second in the District 27 Humorous contest last year, and really has a knack of telling stories combining lessons from his childhood and his own kids that are really able to resonate with an audience. I truly believe that Evans and I are two of the top 5 or 10 speakers in the district and I dislike how one of us has to eliminate the other at the club level.
In better news, I was able to put up a better showing in the Table Topics contest. The question was “When you are having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?”. I ended up talking about candy (specifically peanut butter M&Ms) and my “This too shall pass” philosophy about not worrying about the things you can’t control. The second part was not as smooth and coherent as I wanted it to be, but it was still structured enough that I was able to take home first place.
So with no humorous contest, I now have my sights on trying to repeat my 2012 Table Topics performance. Otherwise I am going to keep working my way through the ACS Storytelling manual and start working out another story for a SpeakeasyDC show.
Image and video credit: T. Dahlman, 2014