The top speakers from Area 12 Toastmasters clubs went in search of public speaking gold on Saturday September 8th at the El Dorado East Secondary school. The Area Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest brought the top two contestants from the three club level events to the Samuel Ramoutar Hall.
The use of humor in speeches is a core learning objective in the Toastmasters Educational programme. Like the mythical city of El Dorado, working one’s way to humor is often easier to envisage than to realize upon delivery of the speech. Despite this challenge, whether a toastmaster’s ultimate aim is to orate for entertainment or to improve presentations at work, they become “masters of the laugh” by employing several speaking tools and techniques. Sandra Lutchman of Dynamic Speakers Club emerged the victor in the Humorous Speech segment. Lutchman, who holds the distinction as the second female to become a certified pilot in Trinidad & Tobago, commanded the attention of the audience with levity in her piece on aging gracefully. Second place went to Lennox Sealy of Nepuyo Toastmasters Club of Arima. The crowd erupted during Sealy’s talk on creativity when he asked “just imagine what I could do with three hands and three feet?”
In the Evaluation contest, four contenders and the audience listened to a sample speech delivered by toastmaster Nancoo of Nepuyo Toastmasters titled “Who am I?” After a short period of preparation each contestant gave an evaluation of the speech. Another hallmark of Toastmasters Education is the ability to provide feedback. Effective evaluation considers the value of the speech, its positive aspects and provides constructive suggestions for the development and improvement of the speaker. Jason Cotton of Nepuyo Toastmasters Club was chosen as the Best Evaluator. Stacey Foster of Talk Tsu Toastmasters Club placed second. Cotton, an economist with Central Bank, is no stranger to winning speech contests. In 2011, Jason was the second place winner of the Toastmasters Caribbean Speech Contest.
These four speakers will represent Area 12 at the Territory competition on Saturday, September 29th when they face the winners of Area 13, the other cluster of clubs in Trinidad & Tobago. The winning speakers at that event will advance to the District-level competition in October which will be held in Grenada during the District 81 Conference.
Biographies of the Area 12 winners will be posted from this week. Look out for details on the upcoming contests including the District contest at the Conference in Grenada.
Additional photos from this event can be viewed at the Area 12 Facebook Page.