I am just 14 minutes away from America, and if I win the International Speech Contest at the Northern Division Conference on Saturday 19th March 2016, I am told I should go and get a pass port.

Two years ago when I  joined  Toastmasters,  the thought never entered my mind that I would even be competing in speaking competitions, and I am pleased that I have made it this far.

Travelling overseas though is something else; that thought is far scarier for me, than standing on stage in front of the world – seriously! I am already imagining myself there and thinking about my finals speech, I just wish it could all happen here in Australia.

Maxine blog March 16

How am I preparing myself to do the best I can with my International Speech?

When, I won the area competition back in October 2015, I thought, I have to remember this speech and deliver it again in March 2016, can I do this?

I always record all my speeches, and I had some notes.  So that my life could move on, I filed it all away, and only in the last two weeks have I started to look over my notes and listen to the recording.

I think about my speech in quiet times, I practice out loud and record myself when no one else is around and I also visualise myself standing up on stage on the day.

In the end though, my speech comes from me, from my heart and life experiences, I try to give the audience something to take away on the day, to inspire them and to give them something to think about, and hence my speech is not a bunch of words to be rehearsed, the words just come from me and my heart.  I have a message I want to deliver, and if I can get the chance to deliver that message at the next level after Townsville, I will be absolutely thrilled.

On the day, when my name is called and I step up on the stage, I say to myself two things.

  1. Just be me
  2. Have fun

As they say, nothing ventured, is nothing gained, and I have already gained lots!.

Written by: Maxine Turner