The Worst-Case Scenario

My speech for the 2017 international speech contest was entitled “The Worst-Case Scenario” and told the story of how things going wrong can so often produce our greatest achievements.

Club contest

I managed to see off some tough competition in the form of Simon and Paul at the club level. People say that the club level is often the most difficult to win. This is often attributed to questionable quality judging, but I think it has more to do with the amazing speakers we have at Leeds City.

Area contest

For the Area 15 final, I decided I had to sort my outfit out. If I was going to speak about running, I needed to be a runner.

As it turned out, the evaluation contest was taking place before the speech contest. So I quickly had to change back into my civvies and then get changed again.

Division contest

At the Division E final in Birmingham, the story ends. I didn’t even place. I’m a pretty bitter loser. It’s frustrating because the only feedback people ever offer is “I loved your speech”.

It robs Toastmasters of it’s most important ingredient: the feedback that allows you to grow. And it also makes you question whether there is much objectivity to what we are doing.

Or maybe it conforms to Robert Pirsig’s definition of quality and is simply incredible. We know a great speech when we see one but we can’t say why. The magic eludes me, but it doesn’t seem to based on sound fundamentals.

Still, that’s the talk of a loser. Onwards and upwards.

And, on the plus side, it did make a nice road trip for Venla.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at 11:00 am and is filed under Public Speaking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.