Meet A Toastmaster: Diana Robertson

Humorous Speech Contest Winner (Division D)

What is your secret?

I was the finalist at the Humorous Speech contest at the District level and I got the second place at the Division level for the International speech contest last year. A lot of Toastmasters that I know are so hesitant of participating in the contests. The reason being is “Ohh what if I don’t win? We have so many amazing speakers at our club, at our area, division, district or whatever. There is no way I’ll beat them. It’s not even worth the effort”.

But here is the thing. Here is my secret of going this far, and, most importantly, getting something out for me from the contest. You see, competing is not only about competing with others. Competing is also about competing with yourself.

Why would you recommend someone to participate in the Toastmasters speech contest?

Let’s take any contest. Let’s say you really didn’t want to participate in it but this time you decided to go for it. How do you think how well will you prepare for that speech? Would you prepare the same way you’d prepare for an ordinary toastmasters speech? Or will you go above and beyond your current ability to prepare a speech for the contest?

I bet you’ll start exploring new ways of presenting, you’ll start researching other speakers to see how they have done it, you’ll start experimenting and practising more and working on the structure more. Whatever it is that you need to work on you’ll put extra effort when you need to prepare for that speech. And here is what happens regardless of the place you get. After that contest you’ll become a better speaker than you were before participating in the contest. So it’s a win-win regardless. Every single time you participate in a contest you get to a new level to which you wouldn’t have gotten to, if you just presented a normal speech. That’s why I always participate in contests.

Additionally, I participated in all contests last year because I was competing with myself. I wanted to become a better speaker. And it’s great that it’s got me to the Division and District level, but it doesn’t matter. Even if I didn’t win, that would have been still fine – because I know that would have made me a better speaker.

And you can become the better speaker yourself. All it takes is to join the contests. So don’t miss this chance! Grab this opportunity and definitely do join your club contests. Best of luck!