Today we will be looking more into Toastmasters and how you can be involved in its various speaking competitions.
Toastmasters hold competitions all around the country and the world. Ultimately the best of the best would be crowned in a final international competition. But there are a lot of other options.
My father entered the “Tall Tales” competition at his local Toastmasters. It was his first time competing and he actually won against an undefeated member. His speech about “how to catch a haggis” – a legendary three-legged Scottish creature – was delivered at their regular meeting and was very well received.
This competition was held locally in the club. Toastmasters will offer many of these types of competitions on many different topics.
Often these competitions will take the place of the meeting’s usual proceedings and will be undergone instead of the regular activities or speeches.
Any number of members can volunteer to compete. Often outside guests will be brought in to judge the speeches. And fellow members can provide valuable feedback on your presentation.
The local Toastmasters competitions are less formal than international competitions. But they are still a lot of fun and offer you great public speaking experience.
There are a lot of different Toastmasters competitions that the more competitive members can undergo.
The usual procedure involves winning the local clubs’ competitions. Then you would compete to win the zone competition and work your way up to the international competition held in the U.S.
There are a number of competitions held throughout the year on a number of different topics.
An example is the popular “Humorous” competition. If you’ve got a funny story to tell you could enter into this one. Winning the humorous competition could take you through to the zone and national levels – and maybe even further.
There’s also an impromptu speaking competition. All competitors are given the same question and the same amount of preparation time.
It’s also worth noting that in my father’s club, one member – who’d gotten to the international finals but had not attended the club for twenty-five years – returned and won several competitions.
It goes to show that the skills gained at Toastmasters truly do stay with you for life.
Your first step is obviously to go to Toastmasters and become a member.
Competitions will come up naturally and you can speak to your group about which competitions you can get involved in. You could also participate in several different competitions if you become a member of more than one club.
And don’t forget that you can attend the competitions without competing. You are allowed to go and watch the speeches. This is a great way to learn more about the competitions and about public speaking in general.
Listen to the advice given in the evaluation and apply that to your own speeches. This is a great way to learn and to grow as a speaker.
If you’re thinking about going to Toastmasters, take that first step and go. Go as a guest and check it out because you certainly won’t look back. It will stand you in good stead for the rest of you life.
Many people are nervous when they start. But keep at it and you could find yourself competing in the States.