Stunning Speeches at the Area 21 Contest


Courtesy of Area Governor Amanda Bouch

Contest season brings out the best in us … Not only do the contestants challenge themselves to prepare a stunning speech, but also the audience is amazing – such generosity of spirit and applause to encourage the speakers.  Everyone was caught up in the brilliance – and on Saturday 6 April, even the sun got involved shining in on the stage and putting the spotlight on the winners.

Unusually Area 21 had an all-female line-up of contestants for the International Speech.  From Windsor, Trish Weller spoke on “1,2,3,4,5 Senses Working Overtime” and helped us appreciate meditation to feel more grounded and actually find the capacity to do more.  From Maidenhead Mell Sheppard delivered her speech entitled “The Key”, which talked about her own search for the keys to her life and asked us to think about how we see those doors of opportunity – closed or open?

Jacqui Hogan represented Chiltern and spoke about 3 important men “In My Life” and the influence they had exerted on Jacqui’s life – her father, brother and husband.  Jane Penson was the other contender from Chiltern and told us about an experience she’d been brought up to think would never happen – her close encounter with a lion in “A Fine Lion”.  Julie Farrell from Maidenhead talked and sang about “Holes In My Confidence”, sharing with us important learning from her own experience.

This was a closely contested event and it must have been hard work to be a judge and differentiate among these excellent speakers.  However we have to have a winner to send on to Division H contest and this year it is Jane Penson, who will represent Area 21.   Well done to all and especially to Jane – good luck with the Division contest on 20th April.

After a luxury break with rather good cakes, we held the Evaluation Contest.  Contestants were:

From Chiltern:  Debbie Jeremiah and Philip Sheahan

From Maidenhead:  Yohan McDonald and Zahid Aziz

From Windsor: Trish Weller and David Wise

The test speaker was Ravi Bhatta from Basingstoke and he delivered a very good speech, which was actually his entry to his Area Contest.  He spoke about happiness and gave us three simple things to do to help us maintain our happiness – one was to wish happiness on others, so I wish you all great happiness.

Ravi benefitted from excellent evaluations, all of which picked out the strengths of his speech and delivery and offered helpful suggestions to improve it.  He must stand an excellent chance at his contest and maybe we’ll see him again at the Division Contest!

The winner of the Evaluation contest was David Wise, who goes on to represent Area 21 at Crawley on Saturday 20th.

I would like to encourage you all to attend the Division Contest held at Furnace Green Community Centre, Ashburnham Road, Crawley, RH10 6QZ.  Hall opens at 13:00, contest starts at 13:30.  It will be a great opportunity to hear excellence in speaking and learn some tips and techniques from the best.

Why not attend the District Conference in Torquay from 10-12 May?  These events are always brilliant.  www.riviera-renaissance.co.uk

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