Never turn down stage time.
~~ Darren LaCroix
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It’s Time to Crown the World Champion of Public Speaking.
I’ve entered the Toastmasters International Speech Contest for the last 3 years, since I started Toastmasters. The International Speech Contest is held in most Toastmasters clubs around the globe. This is the only speaking contest in Toastmasters that goes past the District level to the international level. Each year, those contestants that have won Club, Area, Division and District move up to the next level – The Semifinals. The semifinals are held each year at the Toastmasters International Convention. This year it is in Washington, DC in the the United States. It is this week. It is scheduled start August 17th. Yes, it is this week, tomorrow, and I am going to be there.
This year I entered for the two clubs I belong to. My company club, First Republic Toastmasters is a closed club and only open to members of our company. I also belong to an open club, Cable Car Toastmasters. Cable Car is one of the oldest Toastmasters clubs in San Francisco.
I will include a link to our club in the show notes. If you are in the downtown San Francisco area at 7 a.m. on Tuesday mornings and want to wake up with a bang, the bang of the gavel as the club starts at 7 a.m., connect with us and we will great you with open arms. Yes, I said 7 AM. Yes, it’s early. Yes, you will have fun and get a jolt of adrenaline to start your day with positivity.
I’m Not A Semifinalist
I guess I should go ahead and break the news before we go any further. I am not a semifinalist. I did not make it past the Area level this year. I have been to the Division level before, but this year I didn’t make the First Republic club, but did win the Cable Car club contest. I won 2nd Place at our Area level contest.
Our District 4 winner, Gina Grahame is a Semifinalist and will be competing this week in DC. Our First Republic club officers are attending the International Convention as well as many of our District 4 leaders. We are looking forward to meeting new friends and are looking forward to cheering Gina on as she goes to get her goal of World Champion Speaker.
I want to be the a Toastmaster World Champion Speaker. This is one of my goals in my path to become a paid motivational speaker.
This episode of Goal Getting Podcast is part of our Back To School Series. I consider myself in school to learn to be a Toastmasters World Champion Speaker. I am learning from some of the best. I watched as Gina ascended from Area through Division, and win the District level awards. This week I will get to watch her compete on the World stage with great Toastmasters. I want to be there. I will be cheering her on and visualizing myself on the stage as well.
What am I doing to learn to be a Toastmaster World Champion Speaker? Never turning down stage time, as 2001 World Champion Speaker Darren LaCroix said on the How To Become A World Champion Speaker CD.
World Champion Speakers
I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting Hall of Fame Speaker, Patricia Fripp at a couple of our San Francisco Toastmasters events. We had the opportunity to host her for a seminar at one of our First Republic Toastmasters club meetings where she shared some educational and inspiring advice. I learned a lot in that visit. Cable Car Toastmasters also sponsored her for an event in June and again she shared valuable advice about speaking and presenting. She is a dynamic lady and a tremendous speaker. The interesting fact is she actually began her Toastmasters journey at Cable Car Toastmasters. I won’t say the year, but it was a while ago. At the Cable Car event, she gave away her CD How To Become a World Champion Public Speaker to the attendees. This CD features Patricia Fripp facilitating an entertaining, action-packed, idea-rich National Speakers Association session with two Toastmasters International World Champion Speakers, 2000 Champion Ed Tate and 2001 Champion Darren LaCroix.
I am excited to meet these two gentlemen at the Convention this week. Ed Tate is speaking Wednesday night.
I had the opportunity to listen to the CD over the Independence Day weekend as I drove my dog, Sophie across country to Atlanta. I had long days of driving and listened to the CD over and over again. I think I listened at least 10 times over the 3 day drive. If you are a Toastmaster or you want to learn speaking skills from two World Champion Speakers, you should pick up a copy. I will have information on how to get a copy at the end of the show notes. I will also have contact information on how to contact Patricia, Ed and Darren.
These great speakers present the exact tips that helped them win their competitions. Patricia also offers several points of advice. She, too, is a great speaker and teacher.
There is so much information on the CD that I won’t go over it today, but I do want to share the tip that stuck with me and has become part of my life at this time.
Advice from a World Champion
Darren offered the audience the tip that he learned from one of his mentors who advised him, “Never turn down stage time.” The funny thing about that quote on the CD is the CD starts with Patricia talking about how she was on a tour in New Zealand with a group of National Speakers Association members. She recognized Ed Tate as being the 2000 World Champion Speaker and asked him to give his speech he presented as his final speech for the 2000 World Champion Speaker contest. Ed, on a full tour bus, going 40 miles an hour through New Zealand stood up, grabbed the tour guides microphone and gave his award winning speech. Ed did not turn down the stage time! Ed took the opportunity to tell his story in front of those National Speakers Association members. I am looking forward to hearing his speech on Wednesday night as the keynote speaker at the Opening ceremonies.
I am excited. I am going to do my best to interview as many people as I can from all over the world. I am going to try to interview some of the amazing Semifinalists as well as past World Champion Speakers. After all the best way to learn is to listen to them speak.
Back To School
So, I will be in school all week at the convention learning how I can become a Toastmasters International World Champion Speaker.
Is your goal to improve your public speaking skills? Do you have a fear of public speaking? You should join a Toastmasters club. I have learned so much. I wasn’t a rookie speaker. I have been a martial arts instructor, a crime prevention speaker, I’ve given seminars on many different topics to audiences from 1 to over 400. However, I didn’t know how to speak well.
If you give presentations or hold meetings at work you may need to join Toastmasters. If you are a Startup Founder pitching to an investor or a Shark, you need to be able to present your story well. Toastmasters is a place to learn.
If you don’t have time or the ability to attend a Toastmasters meeting, you might need to find a coach. You can work with one of the World Champion Speakers or me. I offer coaching services as well. Perhaps you are a startup founder and need to get prepared to do a pitch. Let me help you get ready. I’ve attended a few of the events in San Francisco and will be attending more. I have heard some of the pitches given. You are very intelligent, have a great idea or product and have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it (that sounds like a good name for a band….. ). You should be prepared to tell your story and have the investors be just as excited about it as you are. I can help.
Keep listening to the show. I will try to post some interviews and posts from the Toastmasters International Convention.
Contact Cable Car Toastmasters if you are in San Francisco FiDi on Tuesday mornings. We meet from 7:00 am – 8:00 am.
Contact these great speakers
Patricia Fripp – [email protected] | (415) 752-6556 | www.Fripp.com
Darren LaCroix – [email protected] | The Humor Institute, Inc. | (888) 528-4451 | www.Presentation441.com
Edward Tate – [email protected] | (813) 221=5254 | www.EdTate.com