Congratulations, Barb Weisenberger!

Today the District 35 Northern Division held its Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest in Wausau, Wisconsin at Rasmussen College. There was a packed house for this event!

Barb Weisenberger, of Chippewa Valley Toastmasters, took first place! Congratulations, Barb! Her telling of a story that had a runaway rabbit, a turtle, her seven year old daughter, and her husband in the emergency room was exceedingly well done.

Second place was earned by Susan Engebrecht, Wausau Morning Toastmasters, with a story of her first ice fishing event with her outdoors-man husband.

Jeff Eble, Stevens Point Toastmasters, won third place with his speech about his one-game one-play football career.

Other speakers in the Humorous Speech Contest were Tim Kelley of the New Richmond Toastmasters, Patty Ann O’Hara of the Wausau Morning Toastmasters, Carol Prince of the New Richmond Toastmasters, and other members of the Chippewa Valley club.

The Evaluation Contest occurred immediately afterward. First place went to Kathleen Wesselink of Eclectic Image Toastmasters and second place went to Jeff Viergutz of Marshfield Toastmasters. Tim Kelley of New Richmond Toastmasters was the third contestant in the Evaluation Contest.

As usual, I was completely calm, during the Humorous Speech Contest, until the speaker before me presented. Then the butterflies hit me, my throat went dry, and I assumed the look of a stone sculpture… well, not quite that bad, it was easier this time than any other but there is still room for improvement.

I never understood the fear some people have of taking tests. Throughout my academic years I never had a problem taking any math, history, or other tests. I knew what I had learned and that I would not forget it during a test. Speaking publicly is different though for me. It is less about what I know and more about what I do. And for a guy who can never do the same thing twice the same way, it’s a challenge to take my “practice speech” and deliver it to an audience. My practice speeches are awesome, just ask me! I have the cadence, rhythm, timing, and ‘pauses for effect’ down pat. Yet that all melts away when it’s time to perform.

One of the advantages of joining Toastmasters is to develop your public speech delivery just as well as your private. It is a joy to watch and listen to speakers and learn from them. It’s not an easy process but the journey to speak publicly has to begin sometime. Why not now?

If you are uncomfortable speaking in public like I am, please come join us at Chippewa Valley Toastmasters. Every meeting is filled with examples of what to do and , of course, what not to do. Learning by doing, developing experience, and sharing your experience with others is the best way to gain skills to speak well in public.

I hope to see you at our next meeting, November 3rd, 2011… See the header tab for location and directions.