Saturday was the final round of the Toastmasters’ Humorous Speech Contest. While I was pleased with my performance–I was told it was my best rendition of my speech, “Zach Everson’s entry in the humorous speech contest”—I didn’t place. As in the previous round, I had a few jitters beforehand, but felt calm when it was my turn.
I went first, which is a handicap. As in Olympic events like figure skating and gymnastics (and the comparison of Toastmasters with the Olympics ends here), judges often are reluctant to give early competitors high marks so they can leave room to score possible great performances from subsequent contestants. Also every other participant had been a Toastmasters member for at least six years; I’ve only been participating for seven months. All of the other speeches, however, were fantastic. They were both funny and well delivered.
Nevertheless, I didn’t join Toastmasters to compete, but rather to hone my public-speaking skills. And Saturday night I did just that, speaking on a stage and with a microphone, both for the first time, in front of 200 people. I am glad the contest is finished, however; I’ve been practicing this speech since August and am bored of it.
Tomorrow night I am giving another speech at my club. Standing before an audience of just 15 people is a lot easier now.