I Came in Second

I came in second at the Area Toastmasters Contest.

But let me start at the beginning.

Part of being an author is marketing and part of that marketing is public speaking. Toastmasters helps people to gain confidence in public speaking. It also helps the shy to speak to others.

I joined to become a great public speaker about writing, but I also use short stories. I’ve discovered that I’m a great storyteller. I love it.

Twice a year, Toastmasters has a contest. It starts at the club level, then progress to area, district, region and finally national level. You can find the national speech contest winners on YouTube.

Last year, I came in second in our club contest. Of course there were only two of us, but I came in second.

This year, I was first. Of course I was the only one in the contest, but I came in first and I have the certificate to prove it.

There were four people in the area contest. I legitimacy came in second. I have a certificate, trophy and photograph to prove it.

I was great, but I got beat out by experience.

I wasn’t nervous, but I do tent to rush my speeches. When I practiced at home, I pause in the appropriate places. When I speak in public, I forget the pauses and sound like I’m rushing, which means I don’t have control of my speeches. But I’m getting there.

The gentleman who won is a teacher and public speaker. It might not seem fair to put a professional up against an amateur, but it’s good practice for both.

The best part of the evening, for me, was when people came up to me afterword and told me how good I was. Many thought I should have won, but the better speaker won.

The area contest was the first time I spoke in front of a group of people other than my club. To my surprise I wasn’t nervous and I didn’t make a mistake.

For me coming in second at the Area Toastmasters Contest was a victory. The people in my club have become good friends. They’re encouraging and help me improve my skills.

I’m looking forward to the next contest.