Winning the 2018 International Speech Contest at area level – Terry Pullin

Winning the 2018 International Speech Contest at area level

As I packed the trophy I won in my Toastmasters Club’s International Speech Contest, to return and present to this year’s winner, I smiled a little and became determined to win it back next year.

Why do I want to win the fake gold eagle trophy back again, especially as it’s lived at the back of the chest of draws in my bedroom (not exactly on full display) overlooking Mrs Pullin as she works from home?

It’s nothing to do with the trophy itself. It’s nothing to do with beating my fellow London Victorian members to it. It’s not even to do with my kids’ faces looking disappointed when I said I had to take it back today.

It’s about challenging myself!

I’ve won club level Toastmasters Contests a couple of times now and made the area finals for humorous, table topics and International speech contests. I want to win an area final next, and ideally in the International Speech contest which is the more prestigious contest of the year.

Over the last 7 years I’ve been setting goals often and early. What I’ve learnt from Toastmasters is that to give a great speech I need to prepare early. A year should do me.

A combination of having the goal to work towards, my inherently competitive nature and effort to constantly learn and improve my skills has seen me achieve many of these goals. So the area winner should be no problem.

The speech I’m going to use is a re-working of my competent communicator project 9 speech titled “It’s not you, it’s me” which was on reflection more inspirational than persuasive (or at least will be with some minor changes).

Can the speech win the contest? Well we had a workshop at our club on how to create and deliver winning speeches for the international speech contest, and I believe this speech has what it takes to win.

There is a main character who is in a tricky situation. I will need to over-egg the despair caused by this a little and then the character is in the perfect position. There is a mentor who creates and a turnaround in the character’s life and a steady growth of good to a happy ending. As the character is me, I’ve got all the opportunity I need for personal stories and humour….. It should be a winner, especially with a year’s thought and effort developing it.

Now I have the goal, the determination and the speech I’m confident I can do it.

Keep track of my progress on this site, and if you have no idea what Toastmasters is I say this: If communicating better, being a more effective leader, building your self-confidence, delivering a speech or presentation with style and having some new motivating friends means anything to you, go and check out a club near you!

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