May 01

How you can Benefit from a Speaking Contest

I went along to the Divison B all London final of the International Speech contest recently. You can read about that in a bit more detail at over The London Speaker. It was really valuable to go along and see what the finalists are like, especially if you’ve not seen them before.

What I found useful going along, and which I can recommend, is

that you get to see the types of speeches that get people through to that round of the contest. Generally speaking they used personal stories laced with humour. Some had more humour than others, but it wasn’t a prerequisite as it’s not a humorous speech contest.

A lot of the top speakers around the world, like Darren La Croix, talks about the importance of using stories in speeches and presentations. If you do then the best thing to do is try to find a way that your personal story can relate to others. Find out what the universal themes are that can relate to your listeners.

It might even be worth grabbing hold of one the contest winners and asking for their advice on how to go about writing such a speech. Even if you’re not interested in entering the contest it’s certainly valuable to find out how stories can enrich your speaking skills.

There were also some brilliant evaluations done on the evening. Again, it’s all about watching and learning. Clive Broadbent of Canary Wharf Communicators did something I’ve never seen before. He started his evaluation like it was a speech before segueing into his evaluation. Even though he came 3rd it was certainly a different approach from the norm, but perhaps on this occasion the judges wanted “the norm”.

If you’ve been to a contest recently in your part of the world, see if you can find out what club the award-winning evaluators come from and see if you can get them to evaluate your speech. It may just be the insight you’re looking for.