Division C Table Topics Contest – October 9, 2014

Division C Table Topics Contest
Tony K. Dahlman
October 9, 2014
2014 Toastmasters International Table Topics Contest
District 27, Division C
US Department of Education, LBJ Auditorium
Washington, DC

I really wasn’t feeling it before the contest on Thursday. Part of me has always disliked the Table Topics contest, because you are basically hinging everything on a <10 second time period to come up with an answer to make or break your chances. And after I drew the first speaker slot, I wasn't feeling that much better.

When I got up on stage, I was given the question:

Shakespeare said “All the world is a stage”. What role do you want to play?

My mind immediately turned to the quote that I have been quasi-obsessed with ever since I first heard it this past August. I haven’t figured out where JFK said “The only reason to give a speech is to change the world” and I decided that I wanted to be a speaker.

First with the problems in the speech. Picking being a speaker was way too much of an insider Toastmaster answer then I usually want to give in contests. It is way too easy to sound like you are sucking up to the judges. Parts of it were a little too repetitive. (Karla said I used the word “message” about a dozen times.) The conclusion didn’t wrap back to the beginning and wasn’t as coherent as I wanted it to be.

But overall I had a lot of good energy that I don’t always have in a Table Topics answer and I was able to maintain the structure that has been working pretty well for me.

The effort was good enough for first place and the next level is the District Conference on November 1 and I need to do a lot more practicing to keep sharp.

Video and Photo credit: K. Koudelka, 2014

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Posted in contest, speech, Toastmasters

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