What a Speech Contest!

Oh my! Yesterday (Sat), I won the Overall Champion trophy for Area 78 in this year's Toastmasters Quartethlon - Area Eliminations. The quarterthlon is a gruelling speech contest made up of 4 events - and all competitors are entered in those 4 events. The four events, in their sequence this year are: Impromptu Speaking, Evaluation Speech, Singing Contest and Prepared Speech.

And now for the Quartethlon pics (courtesy of Volts):
Here are the contestants in the afternoon session (Area 77 and 78) and the governors:

From left to right: Me, Arnaldo Tayao (Meralco South), Marty (Proctor & Gamble Cabuyao), Pol de Guzman (Diageo), Area78 Governor Bobbie Galang, Roel Macarrubo (Philips Calamba), Division K Governor Rema Manzano, Dang (Exel), Voltaire Victoria (IAME), Area77 Governor Khris Albano, Area75 Governor Lolet Gabay and Area76 Governor Beth Pableo.

Here are the champions in Area 78 and the governors:

From left to right: Area78 Governor Bobbie Galang, Me (Champion), Division K Governor Rema Manzano, Aldo (Backup), and Area77 Governor Khris Albano. The four clubs entered in Area78 are: ON Semiconductor TMC, Meralco South TMC, Proctor & Gamble Cabuyao TMC and Exel TMC.

Some highlights:

Impromptu Speaking (2nd Place):
The topic that was given to our Area was a little cryptic for my taste. It went like this: "The road to the head is through the heart." Whoa. It took me a painfully long time to cook up something to deliver. When I was ready to speak, I thought Gina Mapua was ready to sleep! I used the SMG (Story Message Gain) format and talked about my new found passion in toastmasters. And for that, I won silver or second place to Mang Aldo. I knew that Mang Aldo's impromptu speech was a winner after I heard the thunderous applause from outside the theater.

Evaluation Speech (1st Place):
This is where contestants evaluate a test speaker and the competition is on the Evaluation Speech to be delivered. I was a test speaker once at the Bureau of Customs contest. I thought I did really good in this event, but I didn't know for sure coz I was the last contestant. The test speaker in this contest was Erlinda and she showed lots of enthusiasm in her speech "To be or not to be - a Toastmater". I loved her speech and told her so. Her introduction, her perceived benefits and her challenges on toastmasters were uplifting.

Singing Contest (1st Place):
What a riot this event was! I felt bad though for Mang Aldo from Meralco South (who eventually became the Second Overall Champion) with his good singing voice. He was almost disqualified coz he wanted to sing "Rock Around the Clock" in acapella. Apparently, there were contest rules this year disallowing acapella. A quick thinker, he salvaged the situation by getting Marty's (P & G Cabuyao TMC president and contestant) guitar and singing "When I'm Sixty-Four", dedicated to Doc Noy at that. There were two disqualifications in this event, but I don't know exactly who. One was undertimed and I thought it was Marty's "Twist and Shout" coz I didn't see the green light. I suspect Mang Aldo was the other one. I think some judges may have not accepted his piece as a Rock 'n Roll song. But it's just my guess. Taking second place in this event was Dang or Minerva from Exel with her piece "Happy Together" by the Turtles?

My singing? Yikes! I missed a few lines. I should've brought my lyrics sheet for a final review. But somehow the choreo and the big gestures helped bigtime. Maybe the fact that it wasn't a predictable Elvis or Beatles number plus its super bouncy beat contributed to the audience impact. I even got the feedback from Mang Aldo and the others, "Dancer ka pala!?!"

Prepared Speech (1st Place):
This was a tough one. I heard that the judges really had a hard time and there was a loooongggg deliberation for a tiebreaker. Mang Aldo's speech "The Arm Wrestling Match" was super! He had a very good modulated voice. I just thought he shouted unnecessarily in some parts. My ears were ringing. I tried modulation too but to emote more on the discourse portions so that the audience would FEEL the story. There was also an injection of Christianity teaching in his speech which some religion-averse toastmasters may not find appealing. My speech turned out to be dramatic but entertaining too and I thought I had more gestures - which was the theme of the contest. In my closing paragraph, I thought I saw Gina Mapua wipe a tear from her eyes. The closing which I added helped deliver the crucial message, thanx to Doc Noy's coaching. This speech has been evaluated quite a number of times and has transformed many times to the current version.

Happenings at Area 77
Voltaire from IAME was the champion for Area 77. What a fantastic costume he used for his song "Proud Mary" by Tom Jones. The guy wore an Afro wig, gloves, leather jacket and boots! Roel Macarrubo from Philips sang "Manila" by Hotdog complete with a bag and a take-off polo. Pol Guzman from Diageo sang "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles with a pretty bouncy dance choreo during the interlude. All that jumping popped out the transmitter of the lapel microphone and I thought he'll stomp on it and break it. But he noticed it and quickly held it - nice recovery.

I noticed that the younger guys used sports figures as a theme in their speeches - Michael Jordan, a basketball team (which I forgot), while the older guys used their own life stories. Hmmmm...

Here's me at home:

Here are the medals:

Front Side:

Back Side:

And the trophy:

I immensely enjoyed this year's Quartethlon albeit a long-winded one. Everything started late. But as I told Doc Noy, my primary motivation to join this year's contest - my first contest actually - was to ENJOY it. I continually imagined how much fun it would be after hearing that the Singing Contest's theme will be Rock 'n Roll. That's what got me excited. And that is how I approached it - for the fun of it. The medals and the trophy were the added bonus and of course are nice. I really admire Gina Mapua, Mang Jimmy, the Governors and the Organizers for their continued support, untiring efforts and dedication to the toastmasters cause.

The Division Eliminations will be on Saturday. Yup, a week later. I'll be meeting Noree from Kimberly for Area 75, Ernesto Lomuntad for Area 76, Voltaire from IAME for Area 77.

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your victory! Competing in all of those categories sounds demandind. I am competing in my area-level humorous speech conest this week and hope to do as well as you did! Congrats again.

Blackdove said...

Thanx Zach. Yes, 4 categories can be demanding. But one category - the singing - was actually fun to do and to watch! Good luck on your contest and I hope to hear from you.