Competing Raises The Bar
Speech Competition raises the bar. I haven’t competed very much in speech contests. It’s probably the best way to prove your communications and leadership skills. I only attended several speech contests at club, area, division and district. I only attended 1 International Convention in Calgary, sat in and absorbed the 10 competing speeches. I bought the entrie audio proceedings and listened to ALL 10 speeches with the accompanying interviews, many times.
I became intrigued in the “Winning Speech” format. So I am far from being the “Speech Expert”. But this little involvement thus far has already piqued my interest into the metrics and details enough so, to simply ask, “What would create the winning speech at any and every level?
Well, going into a year where I want to complete the next level of 10 speeches, I plan to forward a competing speech as well. Why not? I could get alot of experience out of it, regardless of wether I win or not. I realized that each year and subsequent completion of a speech contest, right from the club right on up to the WCPS (World Championship of Public Speaking), the bar gets raised each time, making it tougher for each new contestant, such as myself, to come up with “the winning speech”.
What hasn’t been tried? What hasn’t been done? Would I purchase the last 5 or 10 years worth of videos and watch to see what pattern there is? Or what theme hasn’t been played too recently and is due for a rekindling, my way?
If I come on stage and during my delivery, fall face flat, as 2001 WCPS winner Darren LaCroix did, would I be disqualified because I copied a previous contestant? I can’t use a theme which has been long played out, such as a cancer survivor. I can’t use a theme which is your typical sob story – rags to riches to rags story either. But looking at it from the other side, the competition side, you only have to be better than your competition at that time. Every contestant is graded against their competition. So if your competition is very good, you have to be better, to win.
All in all, the bar does get raised slightly each and every year. So the longer I wait, the harder it will be to place either 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
If you like this article you may enjoy this interview about the Youth Leadership Program (YLP)