‘Give it a go!’

Club Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest – 27 Sep. 2021
Ian Rees

Carefree and amused bearded guy, touching stomach as smiling and laughing out loud

‘Give it a go!’ That was the advice I was given at the dawn of my TM membership. I’m still doing so. On 27 September I found myself being Contests’ Chair; it’s done now and I have time to reflect. I had enough to do. There is no skipping the pre-meeting chores if you wish to avoid a display of your incompetence on the night. Lots of checks that sufficient resources are in place, most of those being people and some you’ve never met. Reliable resources also come from TM International which is a trove of rules, guides and advice. I had the tools and it was time to see if they would work and I could handle them. Zoom and e mail provided effective channels for communication and by the time the day arrived the tasks were tied up. The whole team had done it’s homework. I’d also prepared my script to avoid embarrassing my memory.

Clayton B brought all to attention in his S@A persona with sound advice: don’t delegate decisions to your builder. An embracing welcome was issued by our Club President Tom H who introduced his sister Margie from 3 thousand miles west and 3 hours behind. ‘Over to you Contests’ Chair!’. Agh, that’s me. A moment before we heard the first speaker it was time check the key administrators were ready. Of course they were, they’ve been ready for days. Our four contestants chirped away with their humour while we soaked it up. No serious hiccups from any corner although there was a couple of trembles in transmission during one delivery and a bit of pedantry lurked in the background. Half time and I was feeling in need of that cuppa. Watching, listening and monitoring had kept me permanently on duty.

We’re underway again. The Table Topics contest went along the rails before the judges had their second conclave. While the removed judges consulted, and counters added, the remainder of the audience contributed in the main ‘room’. Each talked briefly of how their 20 year old self would see them now. Authenticity is unmatchable. The results were in, the winners were feted and the President was there to close.

The deed was done and our evening complete. Would I do it again? Probably yes, as it reminded me of the latent reserves of Toastmasters’ generosity, energy and ability. The team was attentive and polished, the contestants showed their mettle and the pedants proved pointless. My advice to you is…… ‘Give it a go!’.

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