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Apr 24

Toastmasters Mystery Speaking – The Hidden Benefits, part 4

This past Sunday I had the good fortune to be a mystery speaker for the final time this contest season at the Division G contest held in Milton Keynes. It was my first time at a Division contest and I was impressed with the way it was run and the standard of the contestants. That’s the thing about Toastmasters,


wherever you go they always seem to be full of nice people. So seeing as I didn’t get through the Area Level, I decided to use my International Speech instead of the humorous one that I have been using previously.

I made sure that I re-inserted the couple of laugh lines that I removed in the previous round and it worked a treat. The performance I gave would have definitely won me my area contest no doubt. But alas, it was not meant to be. I wasn’t on my game that fateful Wednesday and as a result the better man won.

I wanted to get evaluated on my Area Speech to determine if any of the problems lay with the speech’s content, structure or my delivery. I’m pleased to say that there wasn’t one overriding area that needed work. Just a few minor tweaks were suggested.

1990 World Champion Speaker David Brooks said in the article “Don’t Wake Up Too Soon” for Toastmasters magazine recently that contests are not about titles or trophies. Instead, they are the fastest route to the greatest improvement.

I have to completely agree with him. My learning curve I had by competing in the International Speech Contest has been greater than the twenty months that I’ve been at Toastmasters.

David also says on his website that: “losers are those who are quick to say “I tried, I failed, I quit.” Learn why we often learn more from failure than from victory. Well, I tried, I failed, but… I LEARNED! That’s the key distinction that makes a winner. Even if you don’t win a contest at your club level, or if you’re not a Toastmaster, as long as you get back up and learn from your failure that’s the important thing.

Winston Churchill once said: “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” If you can achieve that then that’s half the battle won.

Related Articles

Toastmasters Contest Season
Toastmasters Mystery Speaking – The Hidden Benefits
How to Win a Speech Contest – Even if you lose!
Toastmasters Mystery Speaking – The Hidden Benefits, part 3
How to Win a Speech Contest – Even if you lose! part 2