Double Win for Waverley at Area 33 Contests

After the International Speech and Evaluation contest which took place in our club on Thursday 15th March, three weeks later, on Saturday 7th April, the second round was hosted in Rosyth, this time for all the winners of the Area 33 contest.

The Waverley Communicators members who were to represent our club were Paul Bailey and Dan Haycraft for the International Speech Contest, and Marcin Radecki and Jacek Lasota for the Evaluation contest. Because of a personal commitment, however, Marcin Radecki wasn’t able to go and was replaced by Michael McLernan who came third in the club contest.

In the fascinating venue of Lodge 1159, a selected group of Toastmasters members had prepared the place to welcome the participants. The first part was dedicated to the Speech contest: the audience listened to seven speeches of high quality and diversified subjects, from the adventurous life of the ancestor of a Toastmaster member to the nocturnal incursions of a cat, to a daring flight to return home where everything which could possibly go wrong… went wrong!

Our Paul Bailey amused all the listeners with a sharp-witted analysis of the different types of expenses met by our organisation, while Dan Haycraft struck everybody with the tale of what really happened with Hurricane Katrina, revealing some of the hidden facts which were never covered by the media. It was a highly effective speech, and Dan was extraordinary good in what could be defined, without any doubt, the best speech he has ever delivered in a Toastmaster meeting.

After a short break, where we had the chance to taste some delicious and slightly spiced Indian rolls, the Evaluation Contest started. Jacek Lasota and Michael McLernan, like the other three competitors, listened to an amusing speech about the art of negotiation. They perfectly evaluated the speech with the sharpness we know so well when they evaluate in our meetings.

Time to count the ballots and the final results were astounding: Paul Bailey and Michael McLernan took first place in both contests! An incredible outcome for our club, and an even more satisfactory one, if we consider that last year, at the International Speech Contest, the first place was taken by our own Neil MacLure.

The winners can rest and enjoy this moment, but not for very long. In fact, it’s not over yet and they have to be ready for the new step in the competition. On 21st April there will be the Division S contest, and this time it will take place in Aberdeen.

All our members are invited to support our representatives on that day, but for the moment let’s also thank you Dan Haycraft and Jacek Lasota who, although they didn’t qualify, they gave an exceptional performance for which they should be very proud… as are we of them.

Post written by Omar Martini – Secretary, Waverley Communicators

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And The Winner Is………..

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

Congratulations to the winners of Waverley Communicators International Speech Contest and Evaluation Contest which took place on Thursday 19th March.

Jacek Lasota wins first place in the International speech Contest

Jacek Lasota wins first place in Waverley Communicators International speech Contest

Jacek Lesota came first in the club’s International Speech Contest and

John Wood wins first place in the Evaluation Contest

John Wood wins first place in Waverley Communicators Evaluation Contest

John Wood was first in the club’s Evaluation Contest.

Both Jacek and John went on to the next round yesterday when they represented the club at the Area 30 contest, competing against the contest winners from the other clubs in Edinburgh.

Jacek placed second in the Area 30 International Speech Contest and John won the Area 30 Evaluation Contest.

Because Division S has only 3 Areas (Area 30, Area 43 and Area 60), the first and second placed winners are allowed to compete in the next round. Usually,it’s just speakers who have been placed first.

This means that Jacek, as well as John, will represent Area 30 in the Division S Contest on Saturday 18th April in Falkirk.

Good luck to both Jacek and John!

Moira Beaton is a member of Waverley Communicators and Thistle Speakers Advanced Club. She is also assistant Division S Governor.

Speech contests and FAQ’s

Speechcontest_certThere’s a flurry of activity going on the club. Why?

Because the next meeting is the club’s International Speech and Evaluation contests.

Eileen Scott, the  club’s SAA, has ordered the trophies, printed the certificates and bought the biscuits.

Richard McMahon, the club’s VPE is busy making sure that we have – contestants for both contests, a ‘genial host’ to act as contest chair, enthusiastic members to judge and time the speeches and evaluations, and counters to count the ballots.

Now, all we need to do is make sure we have enough members and guests in the audience to clap and encourage the contestants. So don’t miss it!

If you are new to speech contests, here are some common FAQ’s:

Who can compete in the International Speech Contest

Any  member in good standing who has completed 6 manual speeches.

Who can compete in the Evaluation Contest?

Any member in good standing (no 6 speech rule).

What happens at an evaluation contest?

A member from another Toastmasters club delivers a 5-7 minute general speech. All the evaluation contestants leave the room; they have 5 minutes to write their evaluation and hand their notes to the contest SAA; when their name is called, they are given their evaluation notes; they walk to the ‘stage’ and deliver their 3 minute evaluation.

Who can be a judge?

Any member in good standing.

Who can be a Timer or Counter?

Any member in good standing.

What happens if  I win the club contest?

You go through to the next round – the Area 30 contest which, this year, takes place is in Edinburgh on Sunday 6th April.

What happens if I win the Area contest?

You go through to the Division S contest which, this year, is in Edinburgh on Saturday 12th April.

What happens if I win the Division contest?

You compete at the District 71 contest which, this year, is in Dublin at the D71 conference which is from 9th to 11th May.

What happens if I win the D71 contest?

The winner of the  D71 evaluation contest goes home with a big grin, and a big shield they can display on their mantelpiece.

The winner of the  D71 International Speech contest goes to the International Speech Contest finals which, this year, is in Malaysia in August. They also wonder why they took part in the club contest in the first place because this is now hard work!

Joking aside, making it to the finals is a huge achievement and everyone in District 71 will be cheering you on, not least your fellow members at Waverley.

Why compete?

Competing in a Toastmasters contest is not only one of the best and fastest ways to accelerate your speaking skills, it’s also good fun, boosts your confidence, and gives you a great sense of achievement once it’s over.

I want to take part.

If you want to take part, either as a contestant, or a role-player, please contact Richard McMahon at mcmahonrichard@hotmail.com

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

VPPR, Waverley Communicators

First Time: Speaking Outside The Club

2-28-2014_005Having volunteered to give the Test Speech for Haymarket Toastmasters’ evaluation contest on 3rd  March, it came as something of a surprise to find myself being asked to give my speech at Capital Communicators (CapCom) on 25 February!

It turned out that through some complex trade-off (OK it wasn’t that complex – Haymarket had found a speaker, whilst CapCom had not) my services had been bartered like “a poor man’s Juan Mata” – moved from club to club in search of a first team game.

After shouting down my first thought on being asked to move my speech forward almost one week – my default position of “I’m going to say no. I’m can’t get prepared in time” – I was left with a double challenge. Firstly I was going to be speaking to an audience of relative strangers and secondly it was CapCom!

The first issue is an interesting one.

I’m sure to a greater or lesser degree we all join Toastmasters to get over a fear of public speaking.  Then, as our Toastmasters journey progresses, we are presented with a bit of a paradox.

We begin to get more comfortable at public speaking, but the particular “public” we address at our regular meetings also becomes less daunting. This is particularly true in a club as welcoming as Waverley, where we can soon find ourselves addressing a group of friends.

Of course, it’s great to be in an environment where we can try things out and not be petrified of failure. But if there is a downside then it is that it might not prepare us as well for the “being thrown in at the deep end” scenario that is certainly my biggest fear.

The second challenge?

Well you see, CapCom and I have some history.

Around 8 years ago, when I was really struggling to come to terms with public speaking anxiety, a well meaning friend directed me to a CapCom meeting.

I wasn’t in a particularly good place at the time.  And it’s probably fair to say that I left their meeting place, the Theosophical Society in Great King Street, that evening convinced that the prospect of me ever being able to deliver the sort of speech I had witnessed as a guest that night was about as likely as me being asked to take the place of Robbie Williams in the recently reformed Take That (it was 2006 remember!).

Anyway, the point is that I was being asked to return to the site of one of my lowest moments in the very long chronicle that has been my phobia of public speaking.

Of course, a lot had changed since these dark days: not least, over 3 years, I had experienced the best Waverley Communicators encouragement, helpful evaluation and occasional cajolement.

Much to my surprise, although still nervous at the thought of addressing an audience of relative strangers, I found myself excited too.

I was repeating a speech I had delivered at Waverley a few weeks before and that I felt could have gone better on the night (don’t you always?).

It was a speech I had taken a while to put together and the chance to dust it off and re-cycle it with, hopefully, a bit more polish was a great opportunity.

On the night, the members at CapCom was very welcoming and did their best to put me at ease.

My speech went reasonably well. It was still far from perfect, but then I did hear Chris Evans of all people philosophise only this morning that “perfect is the enemy of good” – and I get his point.

In my opinion, the opportunity to speak to a different audience is a very important step in the Toastmasters journey and one that should be grasped when it presents itself.

Guest post written by David Dick

Member of Waverley Communicators, Edinburgh

Video: You Can Be Funny!

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations

With the Humorous Speech Contest on Thursday 6th September in mind, or even if you just want to improve your humorous speaking skills, here is a short (3:58) video from the 2001 Toastmasters World Champion of  Public Speaking, Darren Lacroix.

In the video, Darren talks about his first experience of standup, how he ‘bombed’, what he learned from the experience and how he used it to become a successful speaker and comedian. It’s also very funny.