Chief Judge and the High Performance Leadership Project

Toastmasters Contest Chief Judge

Do you love paperwork?  Then the role of chief judge is yours.  Because there is a boatload of paperwork that the chief judge has to manage.

I guess they called this organizer the Chief Judge because she is – wait for it – in charge of the judging and the judges.  And the ballots.  And the ballot counters and the timers and… all that paperwork.

The chief judge is technically not a judge.  They have no votes in the contest at all.  I tend to think of the Toastmasters contest master as a ringmaster in a circus – the one out front, directing the audience’s attention to the next attract.  The Chief Judge is more like the backstage manager – handling the logistics.

Continue reading “Chief Judge and the High Performance Leadership Project”

Toastmasters Contest Organization: Chair and Contest Master

Toastmasters Contest Organization requires three people.

Ever been to a circus?  Back in the long lost days of traveling circuses, there would be huge tents with three staging areas called rings and each would have an act going at the same time.  The smart the circus company used one tent to cover everyone, but no one was too far away from the action on one of the stages.  Besides, there were peanuts.  Who can hate an event with peanuts?

Contests are like circuses.  There’s a whole lot going on that the audience is oblivious to and that’s a good thing.  They are there to be entertained.  They don’t want to know about who’s cleaning up after the animals or how the clowns get into the car.  But without that organization in the background, the show won’t go on.

Toastmasters Contest Guidelines

Contests don’t just happen.  It’s not like we say, “Oh, today, let’s have a contest that may send a member to the international convention .” Continue reading “Toastmasters Contest Organization: Chair and Contest Master”

Research Your Credibility

How Your Audience Perceives Youresearch your credibility

Research your audience before you get up to speak.  I think most audiences can be classified as friendly, uninformed, or antagonistic.  A Toastmasters meeting should be friendly  and open to listening to your presentation.  This kind of audience is the best kind for trying out new material and getting evaluations of your speech skills.

Other friendly audiences are likely to be ones where your topic is perceived as valuable and maybe even worth paying to hear.

The other end of the spectrum is the antagonistic audience.  I’m recording this podcast in 2016, possibly the year of the most antagonistic political campaigns of my life.  It almost feels like some people are making disruption of public speakers into a sport.  College campuses see speakers disinvited to events or when a speaker comes, a variety of people might show up to interrupt or shut down the presentation.  Antagonistic audiences will challenge your speaking skills with heckling and perhaps even join you on the stage.

Between those two is the audience you probably want to reach to inform or persuade.  Your presentation skills will have the most influence with them.

Research Citations in Speech

How do you make a citation in a speech?*  It can sound awkward if you’re not prepared.

“According to…” is a common way to add a citation to a speech.  It’s smooth and simple when you’re citing a person such as an author or an expert.

What if you’re citing the expert’s report?  Trickier, but still can be done with a quick mention of the publication – if it’s printed.  If you find the information on the internet,

If you find the information on the internet, you may have a problem.  You’ve got to use a credible source  (How to find a reliable website may help) but if you’re quoting something from Huffington Post or Wikipedia, see if you can find the original source.  Wiki usually has a link to its sources (yes, you have to check those too) but Huffington Post, while it often posts reprints, does sometimes print original material.  You need to be careful because you don’t want to lose your credibility with your audience.

Credibility – Incredibly Easy to Lose

The Carrot Suppression Conspiracy?  Completely false.  I made it up.  But here are some links to some of the things I talked about in the podcast.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson misquotes George W. Bush about 9/11

Malone University President Resigns over Plagiarism 

It’s your reputation on the line here.  Protect your good name by treating sources carefully and reliably reporting them in your presentation.

*Handouts

If you are using handouts, you might be able to say, “Please see my handout for my research, sources, and citations.”

If you’re giving a speech with a handout in a Toastmasters meeting, ask the club sergeant-at-arms to assist you if you decide not to have the material on the audience’s seats or on the table before the meeting starts.  The sergeant-at-arms can distribute your handouts during your presentation and make sure that everyone gets one.

Speech Contests

It’s almost always speech contest season with Toastmasters.  If you don’t want to compete, there are plenty of other tasks that a speech contest requires.  Talk to your club president to find out who is serving as the Contest Chair and volunteer to help.

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“Dopplerette” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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