I took a couple weeks off to concentrate on some other projects.  This includes helping my wife with a fundraising effort for my kids school that involved some letter writing projects, so I’ll include those as my own writing.  I didn’t break the chain, as many of the podcasting writers I look up to, such as Mur Lafferty say not to do…so that feels good.

Let me start tonight by filling you in on the details of the Division Humorous Speech Contest I competed in earlier in the month.  I have to say, this was probably the most relaxed I’ve ever been while delivering a speech.  I had spent the week or so prior looking over the structure of “Vivid”; trying to find spots where I can draw out some extra humour and create some choreography in my staging so I can time out the spots I anticipated laughs or to create some extra physical gestures.

Then I reached a point about two days prior to the contest where I just said screw it.  I realized I didn’t care that much anymore about actually winning this particular contest, I just wanted to have fun and do as much justice to my source material as possible.  With that I showed up and found I that I could socialize with my fellow Toastmasters from both my own and other clubs and prepare to laugh and hope to gain some laughs myself.

I felt really good during the speech.  I was relaxed, made lots of natural eye contact and got a lot of great laughs.  It felt good and seemed the perfect length.  The other competitors, all six of them also delivered great speeches, and I knew that the judges would have a tough time choosing the winner.

Then the table topics contest began.  There were eight of us this time, and I drew the first lot so I got to watch all of the other competitors.  The topic given was “Surprise!”, and the first though that popped into my head as I reached the stage to shake the Chairpersons hand was to base it on deciding not to find out beforehand whether Melanie and I were having a boy or girl during pregancy.  It felt good, I got my opening, body and conclusion out solidly, and I saw the heads bobbing in the audience so I knew they liked my speech.  I wrapped it up about 20 seconds after seeing the green light come on. 

This is where I’m glad I was able to watch the rest compete.  I noticed something some of them did that I neglected to do.  They fit in more material and pushed the time they had right up until they reached the red light (30 seconds after red is a disqualification).  I’m going to work on that for next time. 

I did not place at all for Table Topics.  The winner for that was Eric Solowka from the Bolton Banter Toastmasters group.  He made it

For the speech contest…I took third place, which I’m quite happy with.  The winner was Mireille McNeil from Midland Toastmasters, who delivered a hilarious speech about a womans monthly cycle.

I had no qualms with the judging, and it was a very friendly, well organized contest.  I now have some extra techniques that I will use for the next time…because oh yes, there will be a next time; and now I just have to enjoy the next couple of months before the International Speech Contest cranks up in February.  I already have my idea, and I just need to start writing it.

I have seven, yes that’s right, seven writing projects on the go right now…so I may not blog as consistantly as I would like…but the writing is progressing, and that’s what really matters in the end.

See you next time….

Music Playing While I Wrote: John Lennon – Acoustic

Podcast of the day: The Pod F. Tompkast