This past Wednesday, Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters hosted an in-house contest as the first level of the Toastmasters International Contest. First place winners from each club will go on to compete at the district level!
Some people love competition, others dread it. Whether or not you win, competition offers a fast track for improvement.
Many of our members stepped up to the challenge. Our club is newly chartered this year so most participants had never before competed in, or even observed, a Toastmasters contest. There were two competitions available, and some members even participated in both —
- The International Speech Contest consisting of a 5-7 minute prepared speech on any topic
- The Table Topics Contest consisting of a 1-2 minute impromptu speech in response to a prompt
I myself chose to participate in the Table Topics Contest. The other Table Topics contestants and I waited in the Zoom break-out “room of doom” to be called out one-by-one to hear the prompt and deliver an impromptu speech.
As we waited, we commiserated. One of my fellow Toastmasters mentioned how she is always glad to be given a role during the club meetings because it exempts her from participating in Table Topics. Many of us nodded in agreement — Table Topics is something we avoid, though we know we should practice it.
The same could be said for public speaking in general. It’s something many of us avoid, yet we know we should practice. That’s what Toastmasters is for. And that’s what brought all of us contestants together on a Wednesday night.
So congratulations to these brave souls for taking the stage! And thanks to our contest hosts, judges, and audience for their supportive listening.
International Speech Contest
- 1st place, Lakshmi Sridhar
- 2nd place, Deepa Seshadri
- Shikha Jain
- Samantha Jamwal
Table Topics Contest
- 1st place, Samantha Jamwal
- 2nd place, Sarah Tang
- 3rd place, Madhumitha Sridhara
- Shikha Jain
- Shannon Roberts
- Khushboo Shah
- Priya Shastri
- Lakshmi Sridhar
- Deepa Seshadri
Written by Sarah Tang, SSA of Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters