If you are in Toastmasters, you have probably had the opportunity to compete in a speech competition. That time of year is now rolling around again for the International Speech Competition which will crown the 2008 World Champion of Public Speaking. Each year, more than 25,000 Toastmasters vie for that title. Last year, I won my district competition and competed at the Region level. This evening, I’ve been working on my contest speech for this year.
Why is competing important? Well, if you’ve ever been an athlete, you know the value of competition is that it prepares you for challenges the world throws at you. You learn discipline, teamwork, perseverance, courage, and poise, to name just a few. When you compete in a speech competition, you gain valuable experience for life too.
Think about the next time you have to give a huge sales presentation. How about your next huge job interview? Or, do you need to give a eulogy at a funeral or memorial service of a loved one? When you compete, you face a great deal of pressure and must rise to the occasion. It actually prepares you for some of the pressure-packed scenarios I just mentioned. Just as in sports, competing in speaking can reap great benefits for you and help prepare you for life’s toughest speaking moments.
If you are eligible, I recommend you throw your hat into the competition ring, either for the speech or evaluation contest. You will gain valuable experience and have fun, too.
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