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.
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.
- Just be me
- Have fun
As they say, nothing ventured, is nothing gained, and I have already gained lots!.
Written by: Maxine Turner