English Tall Tale Contest Champion 2009

Rosalyn Hagiwara
Aoyama Lunch Toastmasters Club
Would you like to win the next competition? Or at least do your best and learn from the experience? Then I suggest you REV your engine and gear up for success! By this I mean: Refine your speech, Encourage yourself, and Visualize a positive outcome. This is what kept me going through the grueling and exciting process over a three month period from Aug. 15, when I started preparing for my Club contest, to Nov. 15 when I won at the District level.

Hagiwara Photo


Every time I practiced my speech, I revised it to improve clarity and punch, erasing superfluous words, and finding simpler ways to get my point across. Do your speech over and over in front of various audiences: other Toastmasters, your family, friends, colleagues, a mirror, and even your pet! Use a recording device, or even better, have someone take a video of you, so you can improve your vocal variety and gestures. Above all, make it simple. The audience can better focus on your message if you keep your ideas and props to a minimum. Through this contest I discovered the joy in improving on a speech, and learning to deliver it with ease.

I think positive self talk is an essential ingredient for success. A few times during the three months I was exhausted because the tall tale was constantly on my mind while I was trying to keep up with my work and take care of my family. Often I’d wake up in the night with an idea to improve the speech. Then I found myself thinking “Is it worth it? What am I doing?”

I had to recognize the purpose behind my actions. This differs depending on the individual, and the speech theme. I told myself that encouraging people to laugh is a healthy way to contribute to society, and that is what kept me going. Then during my actual speech when the audience didn’t laugh where I thought they would, I caught my mind spinning off into “It’s not funny. They are bored, etc.” but made myself immediately let go of those thoughts and continue on.

I attended the Spring Conference and visualized myself on the stage at the Fall Conference. Before each competition I asked about the size and layout of the room, about how many people would attend, and what type of stage and mike would be available. Then I often closed my eyes and saw myself on the stage in the room, and went through the entire speech, including gestures and facial expressions, imagining a wonderful audience response.
So why not come up with a message you would like to convey to your audience, and then REV up and start visualizing your success at the May 2010 Spring Conference in Tokushima!

Japanese Tall Tale Contest Champion 2009

Shoujiro Ishihara
Nihonbashi Century Toastmasters Club

(Japanese Only)インハウス、エリア、ディビジョン、ディストリクトコンテストへの参加を通じて、「貴重な体験だったな」と思うのは、一つのスピーチに対して真剣に向き合ったという経験です。

①頭をひねらせ推敲。②何度も発表の練習。③緊張の場面での発表。④多くの方々から様々な視点で論評を受け取る。⑤さらに推敲を重ねる。というサイクルを 繰り返しながら一つのスピーチに向き合い、コンテストに参加する事で、考えるに至った事、感じた事を以下に記します。 *とっても当たり前の事ばかりです。







インハウスコンテストに出場する前、「経験の浅い自分では絶対勝てないな」と自分自身の可能性を否定していたものですが、あるTMの人が「勝利アルノ ミ…」とポンと背中を押してくれたお蔭で、無用な雑念を捨て、自分自身を信じてコンテストに挑む事ができ、幸運にも勝つ事ができました。


皆様の日々の一つ一つの貢献なくして、存在しえないトーストマスターズに乾杯! (原稿出来上がった事にも乾杯!)