Annual International Prepared Speech Contest

Once a year our speakers take special care to prepare their best possible speech and participate in the Club International Prepared Speech Contest. Monday, 25th February saw three of our Toastmasters compete for the honour of being Club Champion. Seasoned Toastmasters Mary Byrne and Rod Taylor were joined by Chamu M’Kombe.

Chamu spoke of the ticking time bomb of unemployment in South Africa and cited an example of a company who was taking the initiative of providing a skill that could then be used in an entrepreneurial way to provide a service and up-skill others in the process.

Mary Byrne spoke of the prophesy of the Popes attributed to Saint Malachy, a 12th-century Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland in which Saint Malachy is said to have described the next 111 Popes beginning with Pope Celestine II (1143–1144). Currently retiring Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th Pope. Following this at some unspecified time is the end of the Roman Church and of Rome. This prophesy has not had the same acclaim as the end of the Mayan Calendar but is as apocalyptic and topical.

Rod Taylor spoke of achieving the impossible. He started by saying that even the proponents of Positive Thinking are turning to caution to say that we must guard against the fanciful in our positive thinking. From his personal experience when he saved himself and a female friend from certain death by an out-of-control oncoming car by “transporting” himself and the friend over a 2½ metre high, impenetrable hawthorn hedge he explained that the improbable or fanciful is possible.

The International Prepared Speech Contest was followed by the Evaluation Contest in which four contestants prepared an evaluation of a speech given by visiting Toastmasters (from Morningside Toastmasters Club, Keelan Naidoo. Keelan gave a speech in honour and praise of Lucas Radebe, soccer hero. We learned everything there is to know about this “chief” in 6 minutes. Four well thought through evaluations were delivered by Rod Taylor, Mary Byrne, Margie Skeen and Sriram Murali.

The second place winners of the evening were:

  • International Prepared Speech Contest: Chamu M’Kombe
  • Evaluation Contest: Margie Skeen

And the winners were:

  • International Prepared Speech Contest: Rod Taylor
  • Evaluation Contest: Mary Byrne

The winners go forward to compete in the Area H3 Contest.