For those of you who are not directly involved with Toastmasters it’s currently competition season. For those of you who are involved… it’s still competition season!
Quick overview for those of you outside the “Toasties” sphere of influence can be found here: Toastmasters FAQ. At time of writing it’s the “International Speech Contest” and the “Evaluation Contests”, which both occur in the same evening.
As part of the evaluation contest a test, or mystery, speaker is used. I managed to land myself a mystery speaker gig at Meridian Speakers in Greenwich, South East London last night.
It’s a great thing to do because it allows you to be evaluated by more than one evaluator (which is how it normally works). Last night I had three evaluations. Due to it being a contest the evaluators are not allowed to compare notes (obviously).
I used the opportunity to develop and try out material for one of my humorously speaking projects. I haven’t had the opportunity to run a PAR score on it yet, but it felt higher than my previous humorous speech. Whilst this isn’t the most important thing when delivering a speech, I still feel there’s a certain amount of importance because of the humorous nature of what I’m doing.
As a result of the contest, there were a lot of similarities that each contestant picked up on independently of each other. So they are the areas that need to be worked on for the future.
What was also great about speaking at the club, was that I had no baggage with them at all. What can happen when you only frequent one club is that they become accustomed to your style and the content that you like to use.
But by going to a new club where you have no baggage, or prior associations, you can find this out from these clubs. I had a good opportunity to find out where the laughs are and potentially anchor new people in the future.
On a side note: I was travelling home with some fellow Toastmasters who were visiting from other clubs too. Joann Walsh from London Olympians (and this was confirmed by Rory Marriott from Canary Wharf Communicators) told me that there’s a river boat service which is part of the transportation system in London. I’d vaguely heard of it, but figured it was propaganda.
So next time you’re in London and the tubes and overground service are proving a bit much try the River Boat Service. Or maybe you just wanna try it out anyway. It seems to run quite late and has a timetable similar to the buses. So with that in mind it’s probably really unreliable and four boats come along at once. I for one will certainly experiment. Who says you don’t learn anything from Toastmasters?