Evaluation Contest Winner, J10 Area Director 2021/22
What is your name, home club and the contest you won?
My name is Charlotte Hitchings and I am a member of Wye Knot Speakers, a club I sponsored, which chartered in 2020. I achieved my DTM the same year. I was also a charter member of Voice of Wales and Cardiff Toastmasters. I am currently serving as Area Director for the second time and have also served as Division Director (or Governor as it was known then) in the past.
I won the Division J Evaluation Contest last year, becoming a finalist at the District Contest for the third time.
What is your secret? / Why do you think you won?
I believe I have been particularly successful in Evaluation contests because I am a very good listener! My training as a leadership coach has come in very handy for this. I have also learned from some very good Toastmasters evaluators, and one of the skills I’ve learned is to tune into my emotional reactions to a speech, consider what about the speech and the way it is delivered is evoking these.
Why would you recommend someone to participate in the Toastmasters speech contest?
Competing in contests hones your speaking skills more than anything else. You observe and learn from others and experience speaking in fairly stressful situations which means any other context becomes easier! In my experience, it’s fun too, but that might just be me!
What is your next challenge?
My next challenge is the International Speech Contest. I’ve made it to Area in the past but that was a long time ago. Once I am no longer Area Director, I’ll be back having a go!