Posted: March 18th, 2014


It's the season (in March)

The Prostmasters spring club contest


Dear fellow Toastmasters and friends,

it’s the season. The season that bringst that special glow to every Toastmaster’s face. Contest time! Like every year the contests for speech and evaluation start at each club. The winner(s) take part in the area contest. The wave of happy excitement swashes over to the division contest, where the best speakers of South-East Germany compete. Then the wave mightilybuilds up with friction for the division  contest, and this is serious stuff : it means the European contest!It is the last station for speeches in other languages than English, and the last threshold to – well – world championship!

To see the dates and places for these contests and to follow our winners to their next destination, please refer to our separate blog.

Since it is just that season again, it needs some careful preparation – just like for preparing the baking logistics for Christmas.

Like you go hunting for all such precious ingredients like fruits, nuts and spices, you need the support of quite a few experienced Toastmasters to make your Club contest become a success. It starts with the contest chair. He takes the applications of the speakers who want to compete,  makes sure they are eligible and their forms in order. He then goes hunting for a chief judge, who then in turn pics his  team to ensure a fair and objective competition. 5 experienced judges are needed, 1 tie break judge, 2 ballot counters and 2 timers. They all have to be briefed shortly before the contest starts.

As with any important issues there are always minor little last-minute hick-ups: out of 3 judges one cancelled on the day of the competition. But Prostmasters always seem to expect the unexpected, and in the usual Toastmasterish unexcited and supportive manner they stepped up to the challenge. Another judge who just did not have the time could be persuaded to come, and 3 experienced speakers stood up to fill the judge’s gap – and their forms. 2 acknowledged key note speakers took roles as timers and ballot counters.

And what a contest did we have : our acclaimed champion Mel told us about the different queues in life you can easily get stuck in.

Sandra was in great shape – and in a Super Woman costume and told us about how to silence the little nasty guy on our shoulder who whispers bad stuff in our ear.

Ranjith told us about the power of will and how to stand behind our deepest convictions.

Carlo explained to us in a humorous way in his target speech, how he fell out with his uncle, followed by 3 excellent and supporting

evaluations from Tobias, Sandra and Ranjith.

And of course, by the end of the evening we had two winners : Ranjith for best speech, and Ranjith (yes, the same one!) for best evaluation.

Thanks to all of you who made this evening such a success : Caroline, Kumar, Christopher, Gerhard and Stefan as judges, Markus and Martin as timers, Mikhaela and Carlo as ballot-counters, Stefan as sergeant at arms and Thomas as contest chief!

And stay tuned for Ranjith’s journey through the world of contests!

 

-by Stephanie Hobert and Thomas Dall